The Giants Brigades, one of the main Yemeni allies of the Saudi-led coalition, shot down two drones of the Houthis (Ansar Allah) over the central Yemen province of Shabwah in less than a week.
The first drone was shot down on October 28. It has been identified as a Qasef suicide drone, a copy of Iran’s Ababil-2. The drone is armed with a warhead weighting around 30 kilograms and has a range of up to 150 kilometers.
On November 3, the second drone was shot down. The wreckage suggests that the drone was of the Mirsad-1 type. The Mirsad-1 is a reconnaissance drone that has an endurance of more than eight hours. The drone is equipped with an electro-optical system and a two-way data-link.
Both drones were reportedly shot down near key oil facilities in Shabwah. However, it is not clear yet if they were taking part in some attack by the Houthis.
Following the end of the UN-sponsored ceasefire in Yemen on October 2, the Houthis demanded the Saudi-backed Yemeni government to pay the salaries of state employees in its areas of influence from the national oil revenue. When the demand was rejected, the group threatened to target key energy infrastructure held by the Saudi-led coalition proxies.
On October 19, two suicide drones attacked al-Nashimah port in Shabwah. The Houthis didn’t claim responsibility for the attack. However, the group took credit for a drone attack that targeted al-Dabba oil terminal in the eastern province of Hadhramaut on October 23. The Houthis said that the attack was just a “limited warning” meant to prevent the “theft” of Yemeni crude oil.
The Houthis’ continues drone operations over Shabwah indicate that the group is determined to follow on with its threats to the Saudi-backed Yemeni government. The group has the means not only to target key energy facilities held by Saudi-backed proxies, but also to completely stop the export of gas and oil from Yemen.
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