DUBAI: In Yemen, the high-pitched whine of drones has been a part of life for over 15 years, ever since the first U.S. drone strike here targeting al-Qaida in 2002. On Thursday, an attack on a military base where America once ran its drone program showed that the U.S. is no longer the only force deploying them.
The attack by Yemen’s Shiite Houthi rebels that killed at least six people shows how the Arab world’s poorest country has become one of the world’s top battlefields for drones. Both the rebels and the Saudi-led coalition fighting them, as well as the U.S., continue to use them for surveillance and attacks.
But while the U.S. uses American-made drones and the coalition has turned to Chinese suppliers, the manufacturer of the Houthis’ drones in both the air and the sea has been a contentious question.
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A 2018 report by a United Nations