Saudi fighter jet crashes, Yemen rebels claim downing it

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In the meantime, Yemen's Information Minister Abdulsalam Jabir denounced Saudi-led coalition's Friday airstrikes that targeted members of the Yemeni Al-Masira satellite television and killed its cameraman.

It said the Saudi-led coalition conducted a special operation to evacuate the two pilots who survived the crash.

Saudi officials don't appear to want to admit to a shoot-down, however, and rather say that the plane crashed on its own do to some as-yet-unspecified "technical fault".

"The Arab Coalition Forces Command implemented a private joint operation to evacuate two pilots in participation of air and land forces where the two pilots were evacuated into the Kingdom's territories", the spokesman of the Joint Coalition Forces, Colonel Turki Al-Malki, told the SPA in the statement.

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The Houthi rebel-affiliated Al-Masirah news outlet claimed the plane in question was hit by "the Yemeni air defense".

However, Houthi-aligned forces report that the aircraft was a Britain-made Tornado and it was brought down by "the Yemeni air defence" using a ground-to-air missile in Saada province.

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley showed pieces of what she purported to be parts of a missile and claimed that the missiles Yemen fired at Saudi Arabia were provided by Iran.

This is his first visit to Yemen since his appointment to seek arrangements for holding talks planned by the United Nations between the Yemeni warring parties, the Iranian-allied Shiite Houthi rebels and Saudi-backed Sunni government of exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

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