Yemen's Houthi rebels shoot down Saudi-led coalition Typhoon jet

Source: Xinhua| 2017-10-28 05:19:23|Editor: yan
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SANAA, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- Yemen's Shiite Houthi rebels said they shot down a Typhoon fighter jet belonging to a Saudi-led military coalition in northeast of the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Friday evening, according to a statement released by Houthi-controlled Saba news agency.

"The air defenses of the army and popular forces (Houthi fighters) shot down a Saudi-led coalition Typhoon warplane today (Friday) by a surface-to-air missile in Nehm district northeast of Sanaa," the statement quoted a Houthi military official as saying.

Nehm is about 60 km northeast of Sanaa, where fighting is raging daily between Houthi fighters who control the capital and forces of the Yemeni internationally recognized government backed by warplanes of the Saudi-led coalition.

There were no immediate comments by the Saudi-led coalition over the Houthi claims.

But if confirmed, this fighter jet would be the second plane downed by the Yemeni rebels in less than one month.

On Oct. 1, the Houthis fired a surface-to-air missile and shot down a U.S.-made drone, General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper, in north of the capital Sanaa.

The United States, which is the main supporter to the Saudi-led coalition fighting Iranian-allied Shiite Houthis, admitted losing its fighter aircraft.

Targeting the Eurofighter Typhoon, one of the world's most advanced swing-role fighters, came few hours after Houthi fighters fired a ballistic missile toward a Saudi military base deep inside the Saudi southern border province of Najran.

The coalition said the missile destroyed a residential compound belonging to a Saudi-owned government company and slightly injured one worker.

The fierce escalation came one day after remarks by the Kingdom's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that his country will continue the war against the Iranian-backed Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen.

"We're pursuing until we can be sure that nothing will happen there like Hezbollah again, because Yemen is more dangerous than Lebanon. It's next to Bab al-Mandab so if something happens there, that means 10 percent of world trade stops. This is the crisis," Salman was quoted as saying in the interview.

Saudi Arabia is leading a mostly Arab military coalition to fight Houthi rebels in Yemen since March 20115 in a bid to restore President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who was ousted by Houthis in September 2014.

Houthis have been controlling much of Yemen's north by force, including the capital Sanaa since 2014.

The war has killed more than 10,000 Yemenis, mostly civilians, and displaced over 3 million, according to humanitarian agencies.