Colonel Ahmed Abu Hadi, commander of the First Division of the pro-Hadi Special Forces Brigade, was killed along with dozens of Hadi loyalists on Thursday as Yemeni troops and their allies launched a surprise attack east of Harad district in the province.
The Special Forces Brigade is one of the brigades that Saudi-sponsored and pro-Hadi militiamen established in 2015 near Saudi Arabia’s southern border regions in a bid to mount attacks against the Yemeni northern provinces of Hajjah, Sa’ada and al-Jawf, which are controlled by the Ansarullah movement.
Thursday's deadly attack was the latest by Yemeni army soldiers and Houthi fighters against Hadi loyalists, Presstv reported.
On January 10, Yemeni forces and Popular Committees fighters attacked Saudi Arabia's mercenaries at Anad Air Base in the country’s southwestern province of Lahij with the new domestically-developed Qasef K2 (Striker K2) combat drone.
Speaking during a press conference in the capital Sana’a on the same day, spokesman for Yemeni Armed Forces Brigadier General Yahya Saree said the unmanned aerial vehicle could strike its designated targets from 20 meters away.
On January 13, Chief of Yemen's pro-Hadi military intelligence agency, Brigadier General Saleh Tamah, succumbed to injuries he had sustained in the same drone strike.
Pro-Hadi deputy chief of staff, General Saleh Zindani, died of his wounds at a hospital in the United Arab Emirates on February 3.
He was among several senior Saudi-sponsored commanders, who were injured in the Yemeni aerial assault.
Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating military campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing Hadi’s government back to power and crushing Ansarullah.
According to a new report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has so far claimed the lives of around 56,000 Yemenis.
The Saudi-led war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN has already said that a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in dire need of food, including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger. According to the world body, Yemen is suffering from the most severe famine in more than 100 years.
A number of Western countries, the US and Britain in particular, are also accused of being complicit in the ongoing aggression as they supply the Riyadh regime with advanced weapons and military equipment as well as logistical and intelligence assistance.