Yemeni army forces down Saudi warplane

Sanaa, Oct 16 (IANS/AKI) Yemeni Army forces backed by Houthi rebels shot down a Saudi warplane in the northern province of Sadaa, the official Saba news agency reported.

The Saudi warplane crashed on Thursday in Ghamar district.

The fate of the Saudi jet’s crew was unknown, but the Yemeni forces have launched a search operation in the area, according to Saba.

Saudi forces have yet not commented on the incident but Yemeni forces have downed several Saudi warplanes and drones in various parts of the country over the past few months.

Earlier on Thursday, Houthi rebels fired a ballistic missile at an air base in southern Saudi Arabia close to the border with Yemen “in retaliation for Saudi war crimes”, a Houthi-linked TV station reported.

The Scud missile hit the King Khaled air base, the largest in southern Saudi Arabia, causing “widespread destruction”, Al-Masirah TV cited a spokesman for Yemen’s Houthi forces as saying.

The airbase is located near the city of Khamees Mushait in the kingdom’s southwest.

Saudi Arabia is spearheading a campaign of airstrikes against the Houthis that began on March 26 to restore the Yemeni government ousted by the rebels and to curb their Shia ally Iran’s influence in the region.

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