HOUTHIS SAY SHOT DOWN MOROCCAN WARPLANE IN YEMEN

A Moroccan F-16 fighter jet. (Photo: Skyscrapercity.com file)
A Moroccan F-16 fighter jet. (Photo: Skyscrapercity.com file)

Sanaa, 22 Rajab 1436/11 May 2015 (MINA) – A leading member in the Houthi group said Monday that his movement had shot down a Moroccan warplane from the Saudi-led coalition 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 quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.

“The plane’s wreckage is currently in our possession, but there are no information yet about the pilot’s fate,” he added.

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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.

According to the statement, the pilot of another plane in the same squadron could not see if the pilot had ejected.

The release, however, did not reveal details about the location where the aircraft lost contact, but noted that an investigation had been launched into the incident.

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.

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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. (T/P001/R04)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)