By Mohamed Fahd
The Emirati military on Wednesday said it had “intercepted” an “explosive-laden” Houthi drone -- of Iranian manufacture -- in the skies over Yemen, according to the UAE’s official WAM news agency.
“The Emirati Armed Forces’ anti-aircraft defense unit successfully intercepted an Iranian Qassef-1 aircraft,” WAM reported.
According to the news agency, the drone -- which, it claimed, was “loaded with explosives” -- had been targeting Yemeni army positions along Yemen's Red Sea Coast.
“Upon examination of the [downed] aircraft, military-defense teams discovered large quantities of explosive materials intended for use against Yemeni forces,” the news agency reported.
Yemen’s Shia Houthi militia has recently begun employing unmanned drones to strike positions affiliated with the Yemeni government and a Saudi-led Arab coalition.
Last Wednesday, the coalition claimed to have destroyed two Houthi drones over Saudi airspace, going on to allege that the aircraft were of Iranian manufacture.
According to coalition spokesmen, one of the drones was destroyed near the Abha International Airport in Saudi Arabia’s southwestern Asir region, while the second was destroyed near the southern Jazan region.
The UAE is a leading member of a Saudi-led military coalition cobbled together in 2015 to fight the Houthis, who had overrun much of Yemen -- including capital Sanaa -- one year earlier.