The file photo, taken on June 21, 2018, shows armored vehicles belonging to the Amalqa ("Giants") Brigades, loyal to the Saudi-backed former Yemeni government, parked on the side of a road during the offensive to seize the Red Sea port city of Hudaydah from Houthi fighters. (Photo by AFP)

Saudi helicopter on recon mission crashes in Yemen, crew killed

A Saudi helicopter on a reconnaissance mission 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 Boeing AH-64 Apache attack helicopter went down due to 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.

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