On May 4, the Houthis (Ansar Allah) announced that their air defenses had shot down a Chinese-made Rainbow CH-4 combat drone of the Saudi-led coalition over the northwestern Yemeni province of Hajjah.
In a statement, Brig. Gen. Yahya Sari, a spokesman for the Yemeni group, said that the drone was shot down with a “locally-made” ground-to-air missile over the district of Harad after violating the UN-sponsored ceasefire agreement in Yemen, which went into effect on April 2.
The Houthis’ Military Media released footage showing the wreckage of the downed drone, which was reportedly armed.
The CH-4 was developed by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation to carry out reconnaissance and combat missions. The Saudi military purchased an unknown number of the drone a few years ago.
This was the second Saudi CH-4 combat drone to be shot down by the Houthis over Yemen this year. The first drone was shot down on February 10, also over Harad.
The Saudi-led coalition and the Houthis have been exchanging accusation of ceasefire violations for the past month. Despite this, no significant military operations in Yemen or attacks on Saudi Arabia have been reported since the start of the ceasefire.
The shot down of the CH-4 drone, which was likely just a response to recent violations by the Saudi-led coalition, will not likely effect the ceasefire agreement which is set to end on June 2. The UN hopes that a permanent ceasefire agreement will be reached before the end of the current one.