Saudi-led coalition confirms Moroccan jet down in Yemen

Coalition spokesman Ahmed al-Asiri told the Dubai-based Al Arabiya channel that the plane had fallen down on Sunday.

The Saudi-led coalition that has been pounding Yemen's Shiite Houthi group on Monday confirmed that a Moroccan plane had fallen down in Yemen.

Coalition spokesman Ahmed al-Asiri told the Dubai-based Al Arabiya channel that the plane had fallen down on Sunday.

"We are still trying to locate it," he said, going on to hold the Houthis responsible for the safety of the pilot.

Earlier in the day, the Moroccan army said that a Moroccan F-16 fighter jet which was at the disposal of the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen had gone missing.

The army said that the warplane went missing at 6pm local time (1700 GMT) on Sunday.

But a Houthi leader claimed that his group had shot down the Moroccan warplane while it was carrying out a raid on northern Yemen's Saada province.

"The warplane was carrying out a raid as part of the [Saudi-led coalition] aggression on Yemen, before the anti-aircraft guns shot it down," Deif al-Shami, a member of the political bureau of the Shiite group, told Anadolu Agency.

"The plane's wreckage is currently in our possession, but there is no information yet about the pilot's fate," he added.

Since late March, Saudi Arabia and several of its Arab allies, including Morocco, have been pounding Houthi positions across Yemen.

The North African kingdom has contributed six F-16 fighter jets for the offensive.

Riyadh says its campaign is in response to appeals by Yemen's embattled President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi for military intervention against the Houthis.

The Houthis, meanwhile, denounce the offensive as an unwarranted "Saudi-American aggression" on Yemen.
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Last Modified: 2015-05-12 08:41:59
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