Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels have shot down a Chinese-made Saudi drone over the country’s central province of Ma’rib on Monday, a Houthi spokesman said.
The CH-4 aircraft was downed by a missile over the Ma’rib’s Medghal district according to Houthi military spokesman Yahya Saree, Yemen’s Houthi-owned al-Masirah television network reported.
He added that the drone, operated by the Royal Saudi Air Force, was on a hostile mission.
Footage aired by al-Masirah showed rebels gathered around the apparently bullet-riddled aircraft of around 1,350 kilograms with an 18-meter wingspan.
CH-4B UCAV of Saudi Air Force was shot down by Yemeni Houthis in Marib province, Yemen. pic.twitter.com/MWg1zucoWX
— Yuri Lyamin (@imp_navigator) December 22, 2020
The heavy combat drone, manufactured by the state-run China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, is capable of carrying six missiles and a payload of up to 345 kilograms.
Saudi Arabia has not yet officially responded to the news.
Earlier in August, the rebels claimed they shot down an American-made Saudi drone. The US military, however, denied the allegation.
A year earlier, in August 2019, Houthis took credit for shooting down an American MQ-9 Reaper over territory controlled by the rebels.
The Shiite Houthis have been fighting a Saudi-led and US-backed military coalition since 2015. The conflict has killed tens of thousands of people, mostly civilians, while millions are displaced and on the brink of famine.