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Houthis Reportedly Destroyed Saudi Arabia’s Patriot Air Defense System In Western Yemen

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Houthis Reportedly Destroyed Saudi Arabia's Patriot Air Defense System In Western Yemen

Illustrative image

On February 8, an unnamed Yemeni officer told the Yemeni al-Masirah TV that the Yemeni Air Defense Force and the Missile Forces [both allied with the Houthis] conducted a joint operation and destroyed a MIM-104 Patriot PAC-3 air defense system of the Saudi-led coalition in the coastal town of Mocha in the southwestern province of Taiz.

The Russian news outlet Sputnik news revealed that the Yemeni Air Defense Force attacked the Saudi Patriot PAC3 system with an unspecified “attack Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)” while the Yemeni Missile Forces targeted the system with an unspecified “ballistic missile”.

Experts believe that the Yemeni Air Defense used a suicide UAV to target the Radar of the Patriot PAC-3 system. A report released by Conflict Armament Research (CAR) group in March 2017 revealed that the Houthis had attempted to attack the radar of a UAE Patriot system deployed in Yemen with a suicide UAV named “Qasef-1”. This UAV is a copy of the Iranian-made “Ababil-2” UAV armed with 30kg warhead.

Houthis Reportedly Destroyed Saudi Arabia's Patriot Air Defense System In Western Yemen

The Qasef-1 UAV, February 2017 (Photo: Conflict Armament Research)

From its side, the Saudi-led coalition announced that its air defense systems in the town of Mocha intercepted and destroyed the ballistic missile launched by the Houthis. However, the coalition didn’t present any evidence to support its claim.

Moreover, the UAE-based al-Arabiya TV reported that Saudi-led coalition warplanes had destroyed a position in al-Hudaydah province, over 40km north of Mocha, from which the Houthis launched their ballistic missile.

This was the first time when the Houthis claimed that they had destroyed an air defense system of the Saudi-led coalition since the outbreak of the Yemeni war in 2015.

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