The rebels claimed to have shot down a Saudi Apache helicopter along the Saudi border 48 hours earlier

Houthis claim downing of reconnaissance drone near Saudi border

The Houthi movement said Sunday that it shot down a reconnaissance drone in the Hayran area of Hajjah governorate in northwestern Yemen.

The group’s Al-Masirah TV channel quoted a Houthi spokesman as saying, "A Chinese-made Wing Loong fighter jet was shot down while carrying out hostilities." 

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which have led anti-Houthi military efforts since the Iran-backed rebels seized control of Yemen’s capital in 2015, are known to operate Wing Loong drones in Yemen. The pilotless aircraft resemble the U.S. Predator drone that has carried out hundreds of airstrikes in counterterrorism operations in Yemen.

"The Wing Loong war plane was targeted by a ground-to-air missile which will be revealed later," the spokesman said, adding that “The skies of Yemen are no longer permissible and enemies must take that in consideration when they enter Yemeni airspace." 

The news comes about 48 hours after Houthis claimed to have shot down a Saudi Apache helicopter in the Assir area along the Saudi-Yemen border by a ground-to-air missile.

Both incidents highlights the Houthis’ improving air defense capabilities.



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