News ID: 117845
Published: 0204 GMT May 11, 2015

Houthis shot down Moroccan warplane

Houthis shot down Moroccan warplane

Yemen's Houthi fighters said on Monday they shot down a warplane of the Saudi-led coalition, shortly after Morocco said one of its fighter jets had gone missing on a sortie.

"The air defense of the tribes shot down a warplane over Wadi Nushur in Sa’ada," Houthi news channel Al-Masirah said, broadcasting images of tribesmen celebrating around the wreckage of a plane.

The television said it was an F-16 fighter jet while the footage showed a Moroccan flag on a broken rudder lying on a rocky patch, AFP reported.

Morocco said contact was lost with the fighter and its pilot at 6 p.m. (1500 GMT) on Sunday, the official MAP news agency reported, citing an armed forces statement.

"A second plane, which was flying in formation, was not able to see whether the pilot ejected," it added.

A Saudi official said an investigation was trying to determine the missing plane's approximate location.

"It is definitely inside Yemen and it is a single pilot on board," the Saudi official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

It is the first coalition aircraft to have been reported missing over Yemen in the more than six-week bombing campaign launched on March 26, which has killed more than 1,400 people.

According to Moroccan press reports, the kingdom has deployed a squadron of six F-16s for the operation. Riyadh is a close ally of Rabat and a major donor.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Marziyeh Afkham, strongly condemned the Saudi regime for launching further airstrikes against Yemen and bombarding residential areas in northern parts of the crisis-hit country.

In a statement late on Sunday, the Iranian spokeswoman emphasized that during more than 40 days of indiscriminate attacks, in which both military and civilian areas were hit, the Saudi-led warplanes have used banned weapons with the aim of increasing the number of casualties.

“Such moves are (tantamount to) genocide and in complete violation of international law,” she said.

Afkham called on the United Nations to play a more active role for ending the attacks on the defenseless people of Yemen and for facilitating the delivery of humanitarian aid to victims in the Arabian Peninsula country.

In the latest raids, Saudi warplanes targeted the northwestern city of Ta'izz and injured 11 people.

Earlier, Saudi jets attacked targets in Sa’ada and Hajjah provinces, killing at least five people. They also pounded a district in Bayda province, leaving two people dead.

Saudi Arabia has been blocking the delivery of relief supplies to the war-stricken people of Yemen in defiance of calls by international aid groups.

According to the latest UN figures, the Saudi military campaign has so far claimed the lives of over 1,400 people and injured close to 6,000 people, roughly half of them civilians.

 

 

 

 

 

 

   
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