A Saudi spy helicopter has crashed in Yemen’s eastern province of al-Mahrah, killing its pilot and co-pilot.
According to Arabic-language al-Omanaa news website, the chopper crashed into Tanhala Mountains on Friday.
Colonel Turki al-Malki, a spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition against Yemen, claimed that the crash was caused by a technical failure.
The helicopter, which belongs to the Saudi ground forces, allegedly came down “when it was carrying out its tasks of fighting terrorism and smuggling in al-Mahra in Yemen,” the Saudi Press Agency quoted Malki as saying.
Yemeni sources said that Saudi forces are spread in the oil-rich areas of Mahrah, adding that Yemen’s former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi visited the province recently and was received by Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Yemen Mohammed al-Jaber.
The news comes as the Yemeni army, backed by allied fighters from Popular Committees, has been conducting attacks against Saudi Arabia in retaliation for the kingdom’s aggression on their country.
On Thursday, the Yemeni forces fired a homegrown ballistic missile on a military base in the southern Saudi region of Najran.
Saudi Arabia and its regional allies launched the devastating military campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of reinstating former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and crushing the Houthi movement.
Some 15,000 Yemenis have been killed and thousands more injured since the start of the Saudi-led aggression.
More than 2,200 others have died of cholera, and the crisis has triggered what the United Nations has described as the world’s worst humanitarian disaster.
A representative for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Thursday that the ongoing conflict in Yemen has made the impoverished Arab country a “living hell” for children.