UAE fighter jets launched an airstrike against a number of Houthi-controlled targets in Yemen, following the death of a Saudi soldier last week, official news agency WAM reported on Saturday.
The fighter jets struck a surface-to-air missile (SAM) base and a radar site in Marib and returned to their bases safely, the report stated.
The airstrike was dubbed ‘Al Maliki operation’ in memory of Sulieman bin Ali Al Harazi Al Maliki, the first Saudi soldier killed as part of ‘Operation Decisive Storm’, the Saudi-led Arab coalition of 10 nations conducting airstrikes operations against Houthi forces in Yemen.
The Saudi border guard soldier was killed in a firefight with Houthi infiltrators on the Saudi-Yemen border early Thursday morning.
The commander of the UAE squadron said that the airstrike underscored “our standing with our brothers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s armed forces and air forces and the leadership, government and people of the Saudi Arabia.”
The operation also underlined the UAE’s active engagement in the international coalition against the Houthi rebels and militias, he added.
Saudi Arabia, along with its coalition partners, launched military attacks against Houthi forces in Yemen on March 26. According to WAM, 100 Saudi aircraft are taking part in the operation along with 30 from the UAE, 15 each from Bahrain and Kuwait and 10 from Qatar.
Operation Decisive Storm has so far been “successful” at thwarting the Houthi militia’s goal of taking over Yemen, a statement from the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in the US said on Friday.
Brig. Gen. Ahmed bin Hasan Asiri, the spokesman for the coalition, said the Houthi weapons depots have been “devastated,” and that the remaining ballistic missiles, particularly mobile missiles, are being “destroyed” along with the facilities they are stored in.
The coalition forces have not targeted civilians or non-military targets, he added.
“We need a political solution to end the divisions that exist in Yemen and prevent a radical group from taking over the country, as part of a foreign-driven agenda that seeks to divide and destroy Yemen, and create instability in the region,” said the Saudi Ambassador to the United States, Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir.