A drone attack on a Yemeni government base by the rebel Houthi movement has reportedly killed six soldiers. The location of the attack was reported to be Al Anad Airbase. Geolocation of videos from the attack, however, indicate it happened at Al Anad military base, about 5 km north of the airport proper.
The drone exploded above a podium at al-Anad base, in the southern province of Lahj, where high-ranking officers and officials were watching a parade.
Abdul Guddoos al-Shahari, a spokesperson for the Houthis, told Al Jazeera that the Yemeni army’s chief of staff, Abdullah Al-Nakhee, was also wounded in the attack.
“Our intelligence intercepted communications between the enemy commanders in which they mentioned that the chief of staff was wounded,” al-Shahari said.
He added that drone carried between 70 and 100-kilograms of explosives, and was detonated while flying over the main stage of the military parade after an “accurate surveillance of the enemy commanders’ movements”.
The video below shows the attack relatively clearly, showing an object descending to the location of the dais and then detonating above it.
A slow motion video of the detonation is presented below. Note that the roof of the dais can be seen to the lower right of the screen.
A video taken of the dais itself shows the moment of the attack, although not the drone itself. It appears that the speaker falls to the floor injured, while there is a significant commotion among the crowd on the dais itself.
Fragments seen in videos and images of the attack, as well as the distinctive shape of the drone seen in videos, indicate that it is from the Iranian designed Ababil II family. A version of the Ababil II, the Ababil T, has been used the Houthis under the name Qasef 1. An engine recovered after the attack appears to be a DLE 111 petrol engine, the same kind found by Conflict Armament Research (CAR) in the Ababil T.
Abdul Malik Al-Houthi, the leader of the Houthi movement, had announced a strategy of using drones and ballistic missiles in 2017. The group is at war with a Saudi-UAE-led coalition which began its military campaign in Yemen in March 2015, after the Houthis overran the capital, Sanaa, in 2014.
Since 2017, the rebels have launched several ballistic and drone attacks on neighboring Saudi Arabia and forces in the country loyal to the Yemeni government.
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