Houthi fighters have reportedly shot down a Yemeni army aircraft as it sought to tighten the noose around Muslim fighters and pound their positions in the northern province of Amran.
The military aircraft was brought down Monday evening by anti-aircraft fire near Khaiwan town in Amran Province — 50 miles (80 miles) north of the Yemeni capital, Sana’a.
The conflict in northern Yemen began in 2004 between Sana’a and Houthi fighters. The conflict intensified in August when the Yemeni army launched Operation Scorched Earth in an attempt to crush the fighters in the northern province of Sa’ada.
The Houthis accuse the Yemeni government of violation of their civil rights, political, economic and religious marginalization as well as large-scale corruption.
The Saudi air force has further complicated the conflict during the past fortnight by launching its own operations against Muslim resistance fighters.
Houthi fighters say that Riyadh has been allowing Yemeni government troops to pound their positions and Saudi forces to strike Yemeni villages and indiscriminately target civilians. According to the fighters, Saudis use toxic materials including white phosphorous bombs against civilians in northern Yemen.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that since 2004 up to 175,000 people have been forced to leave their homes in Sa’ada and take refuge at overcrowded camps set up by the United Nations.