Saudi-led coalition issued a statement Sunday that a warplane from Saudi Arabia’s air forces fighting the Houthi movement in Yemen crashed due to a technical fault while conducting military operations.
The statement comes following the claim made by Houthi rebels that they shot down a Tornado GR4 fighter bomber in the northern province of Saada on Sunday, the Houthi-controlled Saba news agency reported.
But the Saudi statement carried by the Saudi state news agency SPA said the plane had crashed in the war zone due to technical error. It said the Saudi-led coalition conducted a special operation to evacuate the two pilots who survived the crash.
The Saudi-led coalition has been conducting regular surveillance operations and airstrikes on Yemeni territories controlled by the Houthi rebels as part of its war on Yemen that began in 2015.
The conflict - widely seen as a proxy war between regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran - has displaced more than 2 million people, caused a cholera epidemic and pushed the country to the brink of famine. At least 10,000 people have been killed.