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September 2015 Ma'rib Tochka missile attack

On 4 September 2015, the Houthis launched a OTR-21 Tochka ballistic missile against a military base in Safer, an area in Ma'rib Governorate.[4][5] The base was being used by military forces of the Saudi-led coalition. The missile hit an ammunition dump, creating a huge explosion which inflicted numerous casualties among coalition troops. 52 Emirati,[1] 10 Saudi, and 5 Bahraini soldiers were killed in the attack. In addition, dozens of pro-Hadi Yemeni troops were also killed in the strike.[2][3]

Ma'rib Tochka missile attack
Part of Yemeni Civil War (2015–present) and the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen
Picture of an OTR-21 Tochka missile launcher
Date4 September 2015
Ma'rib governorate, Yemen

Houthi tactical victory


 Yemen (Supreme Revolutionary Committee)

 Yemen (Hadi-led government)
Supported by:

Casualties and losses
None Yemen 33-87 Pro-Hadi soldiers killed[2][3]
United Arab Emirates 52 soldiers killed
Saudi Arabia 10 soldiers killed
Bahrain 5 soldiers killed


In retaliation UAEAF F16F Block 60 conducted several airstrikes on Marib, Sanaa, and Saada in retaliation for the attack in which was described "the heaviest airstrikes Sanaa endured". The UAEAF also bombed the position from which the missile is believed to have been fired.[6]

The United Arab Emirates declared a three-day period of mourning with the UAE flag flying at half-mast in honor of the soldiers killed in Yemen[7], the deadliest episode in UAE army history.[8] The UAE leaders, including sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and the sheikhs of the Federal Supreme Council, visited the family homes of each of the fallen soldiers and offered their condolences.[9]

US secretary of state, John Kerry, offered his condolences to the UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan on the death of the Emirati soldiers.[6]


  1. ^ a b UAE mourns losses in Yemen
  2. ^ a b "Yemen crisis: UAE launches fresh Yemen attacks". BBC News.
  3. ^ a b Melissa Gray, CNN (5 September 2015). "Saudi-led coalition strikes back at Houthis". CNN.
  4. ^ "Houthi Rebels Kill 45 U.A.E. Soldiers in Yemen Fighting". The New York Times. 4 September 2015.
  5. ^ "The Marib offensive, three weeks in". Yemen Peace Project. Retrieved 2018-09-20.
  6. ^ a b "UAE forces bomb Yemen rebels after coalition troop deaths". The Guardian. 5 September 2015.
  7. ^ "Last of Emirati soldiers who fell defending Yemen arrive back home". The National. 12 September 2015.
  8. ^ al-Shamahi, Abubakr. "UAE mourns losses in Yemen".
  9. ^ "UAE leaders pay tribute to Emirati soldiers killed in Yemen". The National. 13 September 2015.