May 11, 2024, 7:16 PM
Journalist ID: 1114
News ID: 85473637
3 Persons



Yemen on path of developing missile cities

May 11, 2024, 7:16 PM
News ID: 85473637
Yemen on path of developing missile cities

Tehran, IRNA - With the recent experiences and years of war with the US and the Western coalition, the Yemenis have come to the conclusion to develop a network of underground tunnels to strengthen the function of their offensive and defensive systems.

Yemen’s heroic resistance in the face of widespread strikes and terrible siege of a Saudi-led coalition since 2015 marked a new chapter in the history of this country.

After the beginning of the Zionist invasion of Gaza in October 2023, Yemen’s Ansarullah and the Yemeni Army were the first to rush to support the oppressed people of Gaza and dealt heavy military and economic blow on the Zionist regime with their missile and drone attacks.

The Yemeni strikes in support for Gaza have led to a decrease in the number of ships sailing to or from Eilat Port in northern parts of the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories by 85% and nearly a half of the staff and workers of the port have gone jobless.  

Like other countries of the Axis of Resistance, Ansarullah and the Yemeni Army have been seeking a combination of Guerrilla infantry, cruise and ballistic missiles as well as UAVs.

However, what is the basis of this report and has recently been discovered by satellite imagery is Yemen’s use of a modal in digging underground tunnels.  

Yemen and the story of tunnels

With large mountainous regions, Yemen is not unfamiliar with the issue of underground shelters for various military purposes, but recent satellite imagery shows that the Yemenis, following the example of the axis of resistance and the Islamic Republic of Iran, have developed their underground tunnel network despite all the problems and shortcomings.

Underground tunnels, especially those under mountain cover, are a good space to hide and increase the level of survivability in the battlefield. During the years of Ali Abdullah Saleh's rule in Yemen from 1978 to 2012, a number of underground facilities were created, especially in the mountains around the city of Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, some of which were used to store military equipment and some others were used to shelter government officials in special circumstances.

Two main underground facilities were built during this time, one in the Saada province in northern Yemen near the borders of Saudi Arabia and the other in an area known as Al-Hafa in the Sana'a governorate and near the Yemeni capital.

Yemen on path of developing missile cities

Above photo is related to underground facilities in Saada province in northern

Yemen since last year's winter (new network of roads and at least 3 new tunnels entrance.

Yemen on path of developing missile cities

Above photo shows the entrance of underground al-Hafa military base in Sanaa which has come under attacks since January 1, 2018

With the start of the Saudi-led coalition's attacks on Yemen in early 2015, the entrances to these tunnels were quickly targeted. Initially, the Yemenis, due to their complete familiarity with the geography of their land, went towards the mountains and the natural tunnels i.e., the caves.

The proper use of the mountainous terrain, especially the caves, in attacks against the gathering points, trenches and columns of the Saudi-led coalition proved very successful, and in many cases, it also protected the lives of Yemeni forces against the return fire of the Saudis.

However, in complete silence and gradually over the years, both during the war with the Saudis and after the ceasefire, by modeling on the Axis of Resistance and the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Yemenis have evidently begun developing these shelters and underground tunnels in the territory under their control.

What do satellite images say?

Satellite images over several time periods with a fairly long interval show that not only have the Yemenis moved towards repairing, upgrading, operationalizing and reusing the old tunnels, but they have also started building new underground tunnels. 

Satellite imagery from January of this year shows that the Yemenis have reactivated the underground facilities in the Saada province in northern Yemen and added another road on the other side of this base.

The old road that goes from the entrances of this base to the right ultimately leads to the city of Saada - the provincial center - but new roads have also been constructed to increase the level of access to this underground base on the other side. 

Three new entrances have been built in this facility, and given the sheer size of the entrances and the amount of soil removed from them, it seems that a large space has been provided in the tunnels for military vehicles - possibly missile carriers.

Yemen on path of developing missile cities

Above photo is related to Summer 2023 and one of entrances of underground 

facilities in Saada province in northern Yemen. Please pay attention to the volume of soil excavated from tunnel.

Yemen on path of developing missile cities

Above photo shows entrances of al-Hafa underground military base in Sanaa province in Spring of 2022. One can see the repair and cleaning, as well as reopening of tunnels and entrances.

An old image from the beginning of 2018 shows that at least two entrances to the Al-Hafa underground facility in Sanaa province were damaged and almost unusable. However, the latest image released in spring 2022 indicates that these entrances have been refurbished, re-opened, and are ready to use.

Yemenis have removed a large amount of soil and construction debris from the interior of the old site, suggesting that they have increased the area of this underground site and now have a much larger underground base in this section.

Yemeni missile city in Jabal Attan

The Yemeni missile base at the Jabal Attan military camp in Saada province was the main site of the Yemeni army's Scud ballistic missile fleet before the conflict began in 2015.

Yemen on path of developing missile cities

Above photo is related to March 1, 2024 in Jabal Atan missile base in Saada province.

A new entrance has been created and a high volume soil has been extracted from inside tunnel to create a bigger space.

According to new satellite imagery, on March 1, 2024, Yemenis added a new entrance to the base and evacuated a large amount of soil along the path leading to the tunnel entrance. They also made significant efforts to increase the space to store a significant number of missiles and drones.

Yemenis are working to create an extensive network of tunnels, and possibly even underground cities and missile silos, similar to the experiences of the Islamic Republic of Iran after the imposed war.

Yemenis are modeling the development of missile and drone capabilities, as well as underground bunkers, underground missile silos, and underground UAV and missile cities, which have proven fruitful for Iran. This makes it more difficult to identify and deal with them as their numbers increase.

Written by: IRNA Defense Desk

Translated by: IRNA English Desk


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