On July 18, the Yemeni Air Force [loyal to the Houthis] announced in an official statement that it had tested a new armed unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) named “Samad-2”. According to the statement, a key oil facility of the Saudi Aramco oil company in the Saudi capital of Riyadh was successfully bombed with the new UAV during the test.
The Yemeni Air Force didn’t reveal any information about the new Samad-2 UAV, which apparently has a range of over 700km. It’s unknown yet if Samad-2 is a suicide UAV, like the locally-made “Qasef-1,” or if it is armed with projectiles.
Minutes after the Yemeni Air Force statement, Saudi Aramco announced through its official Twitter account that its fire protection crews and Saudi Civil Defense have successfully controlled a “minor fire” at the Riyadh Refinery.
The Saudi company claimed that the fire was a result of an “operational incident.” However, Yemeni sources believe that the Yemeni UAV caused the fire, especially that the Royal Saudi Air Defense Forces (RSADF) didn’t manage to intercept the UAV.
This new attack will likely provoke a heavy response from the Saudi-led coalition, which may step up its aerial operations against the Houthis in northern Yemen or even resume its ground attack on the coastal Yemeni city of al-Hudaydah.