Two pilots killed in UAE jet crash in Yemen, Saudi-led alliance says

A Saudi-led alliance fighting Iran-allied rebels in Yemen said on Monday that a United Arab Emirates (UAE) fighter jet, earlier reported missing in the troubled country, has crashed.

Two UAE pilots were killed in the accident, which was caused by a "technical failure," the coalition added in a statement, according to Saudi-owned television Al Arabiya.

It did not say when and where the plane went down.

However, security officials in Yemen's southern city of Aden said the jet crashed earlier Monday in the city's western district of al-Buraiqeh, where parts of its wreckage were found.

The jet went down after hitting a mountain in the area while flying low on a mission against insurgents believed to be members of al-Qaeda, the officials added, speaking on condition of anonymity.

It was the first  UAE warplane known to have crashed in Yemen since March 2015, when the Gulf country joined Saudi Arabia and fellow Sunni countries in a military campaign there against the Shiite Houthi rebels.

Forces loyal to Yemen's Saudi-backed government drove the Houthis out of Aden in July.

However, the port city has since seen a series of attacks, showing that the government's control on Aden is not complete.  

Saudi Arabia fears that Yemen's rebels will give its regional rival Iran a foothold in the Arabian Peninsula.

Last update: Mon, 14/03/2016 - 13:49

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