Smoke rises as Yemenis inspect the damage at the site of air strikes in the northwestern Huthi-held city of Saada, on January 6, 2018. (AFP PHOTO)
SANAA, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) -- Yemen's Houthi rebels on Sunday claimed they shot down a fighter jet of the Saudi-led military coalition, though Saudi media reported it only crashed due to technical problem.
The jet was shot down in the northern province of Saada on Sunday, the Houthi-controlled Saba news agency reported.
"The air defense of the army and popular forces (Houthi fighters) shot down a Saudi-led coalition combat aircraft today," the report said, citing a Houthi military official.
The report added that the plane is a "Tornado GR4," without providing further details.
But the Saudi media reported Sunday that a plane of the Saudi-led coalition crashed in Saada of Yemen, and its pilots were later rescued.
The jet crashed because of a technical fault and the two pilots were rescued after a joint search and rescue operation, the Al Akhbariya TV reported.
The Saudi-led coalition has been conducting regular surveillance operations and airstrikes on Yemeni territories controlled by the Houthi rebels as part of its war on Yemen that began in 2015.
The coalition began a military air campaign in March 2015 to roll back Houthis' gains and reinstate exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and his government to power.
It has also imposed an air and sea blockade on Yemen to prevent weapons from reaching the Houthis, who seized the capital Sanaa and most of the northern Yemeni provinces.
UN statistics show more than 10,000 people, most of them civilians, have been killed since the coalition intervened in the Yemeni civil war.