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Military Capabilities

UAE airstrike reportedly destroyed Iranian UAV in Yemen

03 February 2017

The United Arab Emirates' (UAE's) air force destroyed an "Iranian military drone" in the Yemeni Red Sea port of Al-Mukha, the UAE's official WAM news agency reported on 28 January.

A still from aerial surveillance footage released by the WAM on 28 January 2017 shows what was claimed to be an Iranian UAV on a mobile launch platform before it was destroyed in an airstrike in the Al-Mukha area of Yemen. (Emirates News Agency)A still from aerial surveillance footage released by the WAM on 28 January 2017 shows what was claimed to be an Iranian UAV on a mobile launch platform before it was destroyed in an airstrike in the Al-Mukha area of Yemen. (Emirates News Agency)

Citing General Ahmed Saif al-Yafei, the deputy chief of general staff of UAE-backed Yemeni forces, WAM reported that the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was detected on a mobile launching platform in the north of Al-Mukha and "destroyed using an air-to-surface missile in co-ordination with the UAE air force".

WAM also released infrared footage filmed by a surveillance aircraft showing a vehicle being destroyed by an airstrike. A UAV could not be clearly seen on the vehicle in the footage.

UAE-backed forces launched a fresh attempt to expel Yemeni rebel forces from Al-Mukha in January. Television news footage and photographs emerging from the operation show that it is supported by Emirati forces equipped with Leclerc tanks and G6 self-propelled howitzers.

UAE air force Mirage 2000 jets, a type known to be based across the Red Sea at Eritrea's Assab airport, have also been seen flying overhead.

WAM reported on 23 January that Al-Mukha had been captured by UAE-backed Yemeni forces, but fighting subsequently continued in the district.

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