Yemeni air defense forces, backed by fighters from allied Popular Committees, have reportedly intercepted and shot down a single-engine, supersonic and multirole F-15 fighter jet belonging to the Royal Saudi Air Force.
An unnamed Yemeni military source told Arabic-language al-Masirah television network that the aircraft was targeted with a surface-to-air missile as it was flying in the skies over the Yemeni capital city of Sana’a on Thursday.
The jet had purportedly taken part in airstrikes against residential neighborhoods in Yemen.
Earlier in the day, Saudi fighter jets pounded a commercial district in the Ghamar area of Razih district in Yemen’s northwestern province of Sa’ada, leaving at least three civilians dead and destroying several buildings.
Saudi military aircraft also carried out two strikes against the city of Sirwah, which lies about 120 kilometers east of the capital, but no immediate reports of casualties were available.
Separately, Yemeni soldiers and allied fighters from Popular Committees launched a barrage of artillery rounds at the Hanjar base in the Qulal Shaibani area of Saudi Arabia’s southwestern border region of Asir, though no words of casualties or the extent of damage caused were reported.
Saudi Arabia has been leading an invasion of Yemen from the air, land, and sea since March 2015 in an attempt to reinstate former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh, and to undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement. The Riyadh regime has, however, failed to reach its goals despite suffering great expense.
The military aggression has claimed the lives of more than 12,000 people, mostly civilians and raised concerns among international rights organizations and the United Nations.
Those organizations have been repeatedly calling on Saudi Arabia and its partners in the war to end the indiscriminate targeting of areas in Yemen.
The aggressor regimes have also imposed a total embargo on Yemen, causing severe shortages of food and medicine. A recent cholera epidemic has been blamed on those shortages.