The Yemeni Air Force, which is loyal to the Houthis, announced on May 23 that it had targeted a Patriot air-defense system in the Najran Regional Airport in southern Saudi Arabia with a Qasef-2K suicide drone.
“The offensive operation, which targeted the Patriot system, was successful … It was carried out after close intelligence monitoring,” a source in the Yemeni Air Force told al-Masirah TV.
The Qasef-2k is a slightly upgraded variant of the Qasef-1 UAV, which is a direct copy of the Iranian Ababil-2. The new suicide UAV is armed with a heavy high-explosive fragmentation (HE-FRAG) warhead that explodes 20m over the target.
Contrary to the Houthis’ claims, a spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition, Col. Turki al-Malki, said that the Royal Saudi Air Defense Force (RSAD) shoot down the UAV before it could reach its target.
“At 13:46 … the RSAD was able to intercept an explosive-packed drone launched by the Houthis’ terrorist militias in an attempt to target the Najran Regional Airport, which is used by thousands of citizens and residents on a daily basis, without respecting the international humanitarian law,” Col. al-Malik said in an official statement released by the al-Arabiya TV.
This was the third such attack on the Najran Regional Airport in the last three days. The first attack targeted an ammo depot in the military wing of the airport, while the second targeted a warplane shelter.