Tags: Yemen

Saudi-led Coalition Says Its Warplane Was Downed over Yemen

Saturday, 15 February 2020 03:38 PM

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen said Saturday that one of its warplanes was shot down over a mountainous northern province while providing air support to government forces fighting the country’s rebels.

The rebels, known as Houthis, said they shot down the plane with an advanced ground-to-air missile. They said the Saudi-led coalition launched retaliatory airstrikes that killed over 30 people, including women and children.

Saudi Arabia’s state-run news agency quoted Col. Turki al-Maliki, a spokesman for the coalition, as saying the Tornado warplane belonging to Saudi Arabia’s air force was shot down over the province of Jawf late Friday.

He did not say whether there were casualties or provide further details on the fate of the aircraft's crew.

Al-Maliki said the coalition launched a “combat search and rescue operation” at the site of the crash site in Jawf and that it was investigating “possible collateral damage.” He did not elaborate.

Youssef al-Hadri, spokesman for the Houthi-run health ministry, said retaliatory airstrikes by the coalition Saturday killed at least 32 people including women and children in Jawf, which is mostly controlled by the rebels.

The U.N. humanitarian chief in Yemen, Lise Grande, said the airstrikes in al-Maslub district killed at least 31 civilians and wounded 12 others, according to preliminary field reports.

“So many people are being killed in Yemen. It’s a tragedy and it’s unjustified," she said.

Save the Children condemned the airstrikes, saying it showed that the conflict in Yemen was “not slowing down.”

“This latest attack must be urgently and independently investigated, and perpetrators held to account,” said Xavier Joubert, the charity’s country director in Yemen.

He called for halting arms sales to the warring parties in Yemen’s conflict.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the pillars of the U.S.-backed coalition, have purchased billions of dollars’ worth of weapons from Western countries, particularly the U.S.

The rebels released graphic images showing destroyed buildings and vehicles and dead bodies, claiming they were of the victims. They also released footage allegedly showing the downing of the Saudi aircraft and its wreckage.

The Yemen conflict began with the 2014 takeover of the capital Sanaa by the Houthis, who control much of the country’s north along the border with Saudi Arabia. A Saudi-led military coalition allied with Yemen’s internationally recognized government has been fighting the Iranian-backed Houthis since 2015.

In a relentless campaign, Saudi-led airstrikes have hit schools, hospitals and wedding parties and killed thousands of Yemeni civilians. The Houthis have used drones and missiles to attack Saudi Arabia.

The war has killed over 100,000 people and created the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, leaving millions suffering from food and medical shortages.

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The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen said Saturday that one of its warplanes was shot down over a mountainous northern province while providing air support to government forces fighting the country's rebels.The rebels, known as Houthis, said they shot down the plane with an...
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2020-38-15
Saturday, 15 February 2020 03:38 PM
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