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Yemen's Houthis shoot down Saudi coalition 'spy plane' in Saada despite ceasefire

Pro-Houthi forces in Yemen's northen Saada province [Getty]

Date of publication: 11 April, 2020

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Yemen's Houthi rebels said they shot down a reconaissance aircraft belonging to the Saudi-led coalition, despite a ceasefire having been put in place over the Covid-19 pandemic.
A reconnaissance aircraft belonging to the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen was shot down by Houthi rebels on Friday, according to official media.

Houthi air defences shot down a "spy plane" belonging to the coalition in the Razih district of Saada province in northern Yemen, the official Saba news agency quoted a military official as saying.

The announcement comes despite the Saudi-led coalition, which includes the UAE, announcing a ceasefire in Yemen due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The two-week break in fighting began on Thursday, a day before the war-torn nation confirmed its first case of the new coronavirus.

Read more: Yemen in Focus: UN's lax approach 'emboldens Houthi violence'

The ceasefire was aimed at creating "favourable conditions" for a UN-supervised meeting between the Riyadh-backed Yemeni government, the rebels and the coalition to pave the way for a permanent ceasefire in Yemen, coalition spokesman Turki al-Maliki said.

Saudi Arabia, the Yemeni government and the Houthi rebels had all welcomed an appeal from UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres for an "immediate global ceasefire" to help avert disaster for vulnerable people in conflict zones.

The country is already gripped by what the UN calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis. War-torn Yemen's broken health care system has also alarmed aid groups with regards to the Covid-19 pandemic.

However attacks continued even after the ceasefire was announced, as Yemen's government accused Houthi rebels of shelling residential areas.


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