Yemen Update: June 5-16

Between June 5-16, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) reported seven drone attacks and one cruise missile strike on its territory. The United States also confirmed Houthi militants had intercepted an MQ-9 Reaper UAV flying over Yemen. Below is a summary of these reported events.

June 6

Houthi militants intercepted a U.S. MQ-9 Reaper UAV flying over Yemen. USCENTCOM assesses the Houthi interceptor as an SA-6 surface-to-air missile. USCENTCOM spokesman Lt. Col. Earl Brown also noted that “The altitude of the engagement indicated an improvement over previous Houthi capability, which we assess was enabled by Iranian assistance.” The Houthis previously shot down a U.S. MQ-9 in October 2017.

Statement from US Central Command on attacks against U.S. observation aircraft, U.S. CENTCOM
CENTCOM: MQ-9 Reaper shot down over Yemen last week, Military Times

June 11

Houthi fighters launched two Qasef-2K UAVs targeting the southern Saudi city of Khamis Mushait. KSA reported the successful interception of both drones.

Yemen’s Houthi rebels launch attack drones into Saudi Arabia, Associated Press

June 12

Houthi fighters fired a cruise missile on Saudi Arabia’s Abha International Airport. The Arab Coalition said the attack injured 26 civilians, with eight requiring hospitalization. The missile used appears externally similar to Iran’s Soumar ground-launched cruise missile.

Command of the Joint Forces of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen: A terrorist act targets Saudi Arabia’s Abha International Airport, Saudi Press Agency
Yemen’s Houthi Rebels Are Now Striking Saudi Arabia With Cruise Missiles, The Drive

June 13

Saudi Air Defense Forces intercepted five Houthi-launched UAVs targeting Khamis Mushait and Abha International Airport.

Saudi air defence intercepts five Houthi drones: SPA, Al Jazeera
Saudi Arabia downs Houthi drones in second attack on Abha airport, The National

June 15

KSA Air Defense Forces intercepted a Houthi-launched UAV targeting Abha International Airport in southern Saudi Arabia. Previous reports mistakenly identified the incoming object as a ballistic missile. Houthi media also reported a UAV attack on Jizan airport, but the Arab Coalition did not confirm this.

Saudi air defense forces intercept Houthi drone targeting Abha, Al Arabiya
The Latest: Yemen’s Houthi rebels launch Saudi drone attack, Associated Press