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- Iranian-backed Houthi rebels said they shot down a Saudi-led coalition fighter jet over Yemen.
- But Saudi media claimed the jet crashed due to technical failure.
Iranian-backed Houthi rebels said they shot down a Saudi-led coalition fighter jet over Yemen’s Sanaa province on Sunday, according to Reuters, which cited Al-Massirah, a Houthi-owned Yemeni news channel.
But Saudi-owned news channel Al-Aribayah contradicted the Houthis, saying that the Saudi-led coalition warplane crashed because of a technical failure and that both pilots survived.
A Yemeni military source said the British-made Panavia Tornado jet was conducting a bombing run on residential areas in the province when the military shot it down with a surface-to-air missile, Al-Massriah reported, according to Iran’s Press TV.
Saudi Arabia is the only country operating Tornadoes in the region, according to Al Masdar News.
The conflict in Yemen between forces loyal to the government of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and those allied to the Houthi rebels is largely a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Since March 2015, more than 8,600 people have been killed in what the UN has called the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. Saudi-led airstrikes have caused most of the civilian casualities, but its blockade of the country has led to mass starvation as well.
The US has also quietly supported the Saudi-led war in Yemen, for which it has drawn criticism, and Houti rebels even appeared to capture a US Navy underwater drone last week off the coast of Yemen.