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UAE Destroyed Iranian-Built Drone in Yemen | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The Saudi-led coalition has been fighting the Houthis across Yemen since 2015 [Reuters]

Arab coalition forces in Yemen, with the help of the air force of the United Arab Emirates, shot down an Iranian military drone in Yemen, state news agency WAM reported on Saturday, quoting a Yemeni military officer.

Deputy chief of general staff of the Yemeni armed forces General Ahmad Saif Al Yafei said that Yemeni forces detected the aircraft during surveillance to areas north of Mocha, adding that the aircraft was about to take off for its mission when it was destroyed by an air-to-surface missile in coordination with the UAE Air Force operating in Yemen.

The UAE is a member of a mostly Gulf Arab military coalition led by Saudi Arabia that is backing Yemen’s internationally recognized government in a nearly two-year war against the Iran-allied Houthi group.

“Yemeni forces … spotted preparation to launch the plane from atop a light transport vehicle and coordinated and communicated with the UAE air force operating in Yemen, which did its part in dealing with the plane, destroying it with an air-to-land missile,” WAM quoted the officer saying.

Yafei added that the incident occurred in the area around the Red Sea port of al-Mocha, the scene of heavy fighting between Houthi and Gulf-backed Yemeni forces this week.

There was no immediate reaction to the allegation by Iran or the Houthi group, which has repeatedly denied Gulf Arab accusations that it serves an Iranian agenda in Yemen or has been armed by the Islamic Republic.

The Yemeni General also stressed that the presence of such Iranian weapons in Yemen plainly highlights the Iranian interference in Yemen’s crisis and attempts made by Tehran to destabilize the region and threaten peace in Yemen.

Yafei called on the international community to take responsibility of blocking Iranian attempts to aggravate the internal security situation in Yemen.

He added that Iran is trying to abolish all chances for the success of the political process in Yemen and continues to put fuel on the war-torn country in an attempt to impose its sinister agenda and create a model similar to the Lebanese Hezbollah militia in Yemen.