Yemen’s Defense Ministry says the country’s air defense forces shot down a fighter jet in southwest Saudi Arabia in retaliation for fresh airstrikes by the kingdom against its impoverished neighbor.
In a statement, the ministry said on its website Thursday that the fighter jet belonging to the Royal Saudi Air Force had been hit in the Asir region as it was returning from Yemen’s northern province of Sa’ada.
According to Yemeni military officials, the invading aircraft had taken part in deadly airstrikes against residential neighborhoods in the Arab country.
In January, Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement released footage of the moment its forces shot down an F-15 fighter jet belonging to the Saudi air force.
In June last year, Yemeni air defense forces also intercepted and shot down a Saudi F-15 fighter jet in the skies over Sana’a.
Yemeni forces regularly fire ballistic missiles at positions inside Saudi Arabia in retaliation for the Saudi-led war on Yemen.
In another development on Thursday, Yemeni army snipers shot dead five Saudi mercenaries at the strategic Jabal al-Doud military base in the kingdom’s southwestern border region of Jizan.
In addition, at least 44 Saudi-backed militants were killed in a series of violent clashes across Yemen.
According to al-Masirah television network, Saudi warplanes carried out new airstrikes across Yemen, hitting different parts of the impoverished country.
At least two people were killed after the jets bombed residential areas in Al Shajan village and other towns across Hudaydah Province.
Nearly 280 civilians were killed and 300 others injured in Saudi aerial attacks on Sa’ada province in the first half of 2018, a news agency affiliated to Yemen’s Ansarullah movement said. The victims included 79 children and 38 women.
The Saudi war was launched in March 2015 against the Houthis, which have been running state affairs in the absence of an effective administration.
Certain Arab countries, including the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, are key partners to the campaign, which lacks any international mandate and has faced increasing criticism.
The offensive has, however, achieved neither of its goals despite billions of petrodollars have been spent and Saudi Arabia’s regional and Western allies having enlisted to help.
The Yemeni Ministry of Human Rights announced in a statement on March 25 that the Saudi-led war had left 600,000 civilians dead and injured until then.