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Yemen's Houthis claim downing of Saudi helicopter, killing pilots Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Yemen's Houthis claim downing of Saudi helicopter, killing pilots

Houthi rebels launcing a ballistic missile in March last year, from the capital Sanaa. [Getty]

Date of publication: 29 November, 2019

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Iran-backed Houthi rebels have shot down a Saudi apache helicopter with 'new surface-to-air missiles' following 'hostile activity' in Yemeni airspace, killing its two pilots.
Houthi forces announced on Thursday the downing of a Saudi Apache helicopter near the Yemeni border, which killed two pilots.
A spokesman for the Iran-backed rebels, Yahya Sarea, stated on Twitter that an Apache 64 was hit by "new surface-to-air missiles".

The military helicopter is said to have engaged in "hostile activity" in the area near the border.

Video recordings and photographs of the downed helicopter testify to its fate, according to Sarea.

A clip showing the alleged fate of the helicopter has emerged on social media. The footage cannot be independently verified.

In his statement, Sarea warned against incursions into Yemeni airspace.

"Yemen was ready to do everything in its power to protect Yemeni airspace from any act of aggression," he said.

The Saudi-led coalition are yet to confirm the reports.

The downing comes only a day after the release of over 1000 Houthi prisoners by the coalition.

The prisoners, who were captured in different part of Yemen since the outbreak of the war in 2015, were released and flown to the Yemeni capital, Sanaa.

Read more: Freed Houthi prisoners return to Yemen as warring parties hope for peace 

Additionally, backchannel negotiations with the Houthis in Oman remain ongoing, after the rebels claimed an attack on Saudi oil infrastructure that threatened global oil supplies.

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