Yemeni forces target Jordanian F-16 fighter jet over Saudi Arabia: Report
Yemeni air defense forces, backed by fighters from allied Popular Committees, have reportedly intercepted and shot down a single-engine, supersonic and multirole F-16 fighter jet of the Royal Jordanian Air Force.
An unnamed Yemeni military source told Arabic-language al-Masirah television network on Friday that the aircraft was targeted as it was flying in the skies over Saudi Arabia’s southwestern border region of Najran earlier in the day.
It had purportedly taken part in the Saudi-led military coalition strikes against Yemen.
This is while the General Command of Jordanian Armed Forces confirmed in a statement that one of its fighter jets had gone down inside Saudi Arabia, without providing any information about the cause of the crash.
The statement added that the pilot, identified as Adnan Naeem Abdulaziz Nabas, managed to eject before the plane crash. The Jordanian pilot will reportedly return to Jordan this evening in coordination with the Saudi air force.
Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates official news agency, WAM, reported that an Emirati soldier has been killed while fighting in Yemen as part of the Saudi-led military coalition.
The report identified the slain trooper as Khalid Ali Ghareeb al-Balushi.
The development came only two days after the commander of Emirati troops in Yemen, Brigadier Nasser Mushabab al-Otaibi, was killed after Yemeni forces fired a medium-range ballistic missile at a gathering of Riyadh-backed militiamen loyal to the former government in the Red Sea port city of Mokha, situated 346 kilometers south of the capital, Sana’a.
The media bureau of the operations command in Yemen announced on Wednesday that a host of Saudi mercenaries died and sustained injuries in the attack.
Arabic-language Here Aden news agency later reported that Major General Ahad Saif al-Yafei, the the second-in-command of the Saudi-backed military forces, had also been killed in the offensive.
Also on Friday noon, Yemeni soldiers and allied fighters fatally shot a Saudi soldier in Abadiyah military base of the kingdom’s southwestern region of Jizan.
Hours later, Yemeni snipers shot dead another Saudi soldier in the Alib military base of Najran.
Early on Friday, four people lost their lives and three others were wounded after Saudi jets carried out two airstrikes against a restaurant in the Maqbanah district of Yemen’s southwestern province of Ta’izz.
Saudi Arabia has been engaged in a deadly campaign against Yemen since March 2015 in an attempt to reinstall the former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who is a close Riyadh ally.
The airstrikes have taken a heavy toll on the impoverished country’s facilities and infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools, and factories.
The United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, says the Saudi campaign has claimed the lives of 10,000 Yemenis and left 40,000 others wounded.
McGoldrick told reporters in Sana’a last month that the figure was based on casualty counts given by health facilities and that the actual number might be higher.
In a report released on Thursday, Yemen’s Legal Center for Rights and Development, an independent monitoring group, put the civilian death toll in war-torn Arab country at 12,041.
The fatalities, it said, comprise 2,568 children and 1,870 women.