On May 30, the Yemeni National Army, which is backed by the Saudi-led coalition, shot down an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) of the Houthis.
Citing a military source, the UAE-based al-Arabiya TV reported the UAV was shot down with air-defense means over the central Yemeni province of Ma’rib.
Local sources in Ma’rib shared a photo of the downed UAV, which appeared to be of the Samad-1 type. This type, which is equipped with an electro-optical system, is usually used for reconnaissance missions. Yet, it is thought that Samad-1 can be also used as a kamikaze drone.
— صحيفة عدن الغد (@adenalghad) May 30, 2020
The Samad-1’s design is identical to that of Lebanon’s Hezbollah Mirsad. UAVs of the same type were also spotted in Syria and most recently in Iraq. Earlier this week, an armed variant of the UAV crashed in the western Iraqi province of Diyala.
According to al-Arabiya, this was the second drone of the Houthis to be shot down over Ma’rib by the Yemeni National Army this month.
With support from Iran, the Houthis aerial capabilities grew significantly during the last two years. The group is now operating a variety of UAVs, which are capable of carrying out reconnaissance and combat missions.