Yemeni army downs Saudi-operated spy drone over Sanaa
At least three people were killed after the drone crashed in a populated area of the capital
By News Desk - May 24 2022

Wreckage of a Chinese-made drone aircraft, operated by the US-backed Saudi-led coalition, on a street in Sanaa, Yemen on 23 May 2022. (Photo credit: REUTERS/Adel al-Khadher)

Yemeni armed forces shot down a Chinese-made spy drone operated by the Saudi-led coalition, as it was flying over the capital Sanaa on 24 May.

Spokesperson of the Yemeni armed forces Yahya Saree announced the downing of the drone on social media.

However, the debris accidentally struck a local market, resulting in the deaths of at least three people, with three others being injured.

Yemeni state news agency Al Masirah highlighted “the ability of the Yemeni air defense to shoot down these drones despite their development, it limits the air superiority of the coalition of aggression, thus weakening the card it is betting on in the battlefield.”

The flying of spy drones over Yemeni territory violates the terms of the UN-brokered ceasefire with Saudi Arabia, according to the head of the Yemeni National Delegation, Mohammed Abulsalam.

“If Yemeni drones flew over Saudi capital then the positions of the United Nations and other parties would have been different,” Abdulsalam added.

The UN has not issued any condemnation so far of the violation of the ceasefire by the Saudi-led coalition.

Yemeni Deputy Foreign Minister Hussain al-Azzi stated on Twitter that this breach “proves that the other side is not serious about upholding ceasefires now or in the future,” and that Yemen may be forced to respond to such a breach.

In a televised address on 22 May, Yemeni President Mahdi al-Mashat declared that the Yemeni people have not felt the difference between truce and non-truce conditions.

“The citizen did not feel a difference between truce and non-truce, which is not encouraging enough. We are not against extending the truce, but what is not possible is accepting any truce in which the suffering of Yemeni people continues,” Al-Mashat said.

Saudi Arabia has consistently violated the UN-brokered ceasefire agreement which started on 2 April.

The ceasefire stipulated that UN-approved fuel ships must be allowed to pass the Saudi-imposed naval blockade. Few ships have been allowed to enter Yemeni ports, despite having UN approval.

Another stipulation – the re-opening of Sanaa International Airport to commercial flights – was not honored until approximately one and a half months into the two-month truce, with the first flight departing on 16 May.

Two flights per week are being reportedly allowed during the remaining 15 days of the truce.

President Al-Mashat affirmed the will of Yemen and its people for establishing a real and lasting peace, but said that it must coincide with their demands for ending the siege, bombardment and military occupation of Yemeni lands, as well as the start of reconstruction efforts to rebuild what was destroyed during the war.

The war-torn country continues to experience one of the worst humanitarian crises as a result of the Saudi-led war and its economic blockade on Yemen.

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