Saudi Airstrikes Destroy Yemeni Air Force

Officials Brag of Destroying 'Rebel Planes'

Saudi warplanes pounded the airport in the Yemeni capital city of Sanaa today, rendering the airport unusable. They also targeted nearby miltiary airfields, destroying much if not all of Yemen’s former air force.

Saudi officials are couching the attacks as targeting “rebel planes” belonging to the Shi’ite Houthis who control the capital city, though in reality these planes were the Yemeni military’s.

The pretense of a Houthi Air Force has emerged only in a handful of reports, and appears simply to be a matter of some factions within the divided Yemeni military fighting alongside the Houthis and against other domestic factions.

Either way, the small air force, made up almost entirely of old Soviet-era planes, is no more, which presumably sets the stage for the US to secure another major warplane contract in the area, if and when the Saudi invasion ends.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of