Yemeni forces shoot down Saudi fighter jet over Sa’ada: Report
Yemeni air defense forces have reportedly intercepted and shot down a twin-engine and multirole Panavia Tornado combat aircraft belonging to the Saudi-led military alliance involved in the aerial bombardment campaign against Yemen.
A Yemeni military source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the fighter jet was targeted on Sunday evening as it was flying in the skies over Kitaf wa al-Boqe’e district in the country’s northwestern mountainous province of Sa’ada, Yemen’s Arabic-language al-Masirah television network reported.
The source added that the aircraft was struck with a surface-to-air missile fired by Yemeni forces.
The jet had purportedly taken part in airstrikes against residential neighborhoods in Yemen. The development was also reflected on the official Twitter page of al-Masirah.
Earlier in the day, Yemeni army soldiers and allied fighters from Popular Committees had destroyed an Emirati armored vehicle north of Yakhtul coastal fishing village in Yemen’s southwestern province of Ta’izz.
On December 30, 2017, Yemeni army forces and their allies managed to shoot down a Saudi unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) as it was on a reconnaissance mission in Yemen’s northwestern province of Hajjah.
In late October, Yemeni air defense forces and Popular Committees’ fighters targeted a Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jet belonging to the Royal Saudi Air Force.
Yemen’s air defense unit told the country’s Arabic-language al-Masirah television network that the aircraft had been targeted with a surface-to-air missile as it was flying in the skies over Nihm district east of the Yemeni capital city of Sana’a.
In June, Yemeni air defense forces also intercepted and shot down a Saudi F-15 fighter jet in the skies over Sana’a.
According to Yemeni military officials, the invading aircraft had taken part in deadly airstrikes against residential neighborhoods in the Arab country.
At least 13,600 people have been killed since the onset of Saudi Arabia’s military campaign against Yemen in 2015. Much of the Arabian Peninsula country’s infrastructure, including hospitals, schools and factories, has been reduced to rubble due to the war.
The Saudi-led war has also triggered deadly epidemics of infectious diseases, especially diphtheria and cholera, across Yemen.
According to the World Health Organization’s latest tally, the cholera outbreak has killed 2,167 people since the end of April and is suspected to have infected 841,906.
WHO has also warned that at least 471 people in Yemen have contracted diphtheria, a bacterial disease that has been killing one in 10 Yemenis since the outbreak started in the war-torn country in mid-August last year.
The UN agency’s spokesman, Tarik Jasarevic, made the disturbing announcement last Thursday, adding that the west-central province of Ibb and the western province of Hudaydah were the hardest hit by diphtheria, which is easily spread between people through direct physical contact or the air.
On November 26, the United Nations children’s agency (UNICEF) said that more than 11 million children in Yemen were in acute need of aid, stressing that it was estimated that every 10 minutes a child died of a preventable disease there.
Additionally, the UN has described the current level of hunger in Yemen as “unprecedented,” emphasizing that 17 million people are now food insecure in the country.
It added that 6.8 million, meaning almost one in four people, do not have enough food and rely entirely on external assistance.