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Yemen's Houthi Rebels Shoot Down Saudi Warplane Over Sanaa

09 January 2018

Meanwhile, the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen announced that two pilots were evacuated from operations area following a joint search and rescue operation implemented after their fighter jet crashed due to a technical failure.

Multiple Saudi and Emirati fighter jets have crashed over Yemen, killing the pilots on board, in the almost three years since the kingdom launched a war against the rebels.

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Saudi officials don't appear to want to admit to a shoot-down, however, and rather say that the plane crashed on its own do to some as-yet-unspecified "technical fault".

The Houthis shot down the F-15 fighter with a ground-to-air missile, the Houthi-affiliated Saba news agency reported, citing the army's statement.

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Also on Friday, Saudi Arabia said it intercepted a ballistic missile near the kingdom's border with Yemen, above the southwestern province of Najran. The Houthi rebels in turn regularly respond with missile strikes on Saudi Arabia's infrastructure and cities.

This is his first visit to Yemen since his appointment to seek arrangements for holding talks planned by the United Nations between the Yemeni warring parties, the Iranian-allied Shiite Houthi rebels and Saudi-backed Sunni government of exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. The intervention has yielded modest military gains, as large parts of the country are still under control of the Houthi rebel group.

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The almost three years into Yemen's civil war have killed over 10,000 Yemenis, mostly children, and displaced 3 million others, creating one of the world's worst humanitarian crises.

Yemen's Houthi Rebels Shoot Down Saudi Warplane Over Sanaa