DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - A Yemen rebel drone strike this week on a critical Saudi oil pipeline shows that the otherwise-peaceful sandy reaches of the Arabian Peninsula now are at risk of similar assault, including an under-construction nuclear power plant and Dubai International Airport, among the world's busiest. U.N. investigators said the Houthis' new UAV-X drone, found in recent months during the Saudi-led coalition's war in Yemen, likely has a range of up to 1,500 km (930 miles). That puts the far reaches of both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the two main opponents of the Iranian-allied Houthi rebels in Yemen, within reach of drones difficult to detect and track. Their relatively simple design, coupled with readily available information online, makes targeting even easier, analysts say. "These installations are easily findable, like on Google Earth," said Tim Michetti, an expert on illicit weapons technology with experience in Yemen.
We spoke to The Daily Beast to help make sense of ISIL's growing use of armed consumer drones in the conflict in Syria and Iraq. Meanwhile, we assisted The Verge in confirming that the jail sentence given to a Seattle man for crashing his drone during a parade was in fact unprecedented in the history of U.S. domestic drone use. A suspected U.S. drone strike in Pakistan killed two individuals near the border of Afghanistan. If confirmed, it would be the first U.S. drone strike in Pakistan under the Trump administration. The U.S. launched over 20 airstrikes in Yemen, targeting al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula.