16 February, 2020
A coalition spokesman confirmed that a Saudi Tornado fighter jet had “fallen” while carrying out a support mission near Yemeni army units, according to Saudi Arabia’s state news agency SPA.
Yemen’s Houthi rebels said they shot down the plane on Friday night.
The United Nations said 31 civilians were killed in Saudi air strikes in al-Jawf on Saturday.
A statement from the office of the UN’s resident coordinator for Yemen said “preliminary field reports” indicated that at least 12 others were injured in the strikes.
The Houthi rebels said they used ground-to-air missiles to down the warplane on Friday night.
Saudi Arabia has not provided details of any casualties from the crash, or what caused it.
It said it carried out a search and rescue operation on Saturday and that some civilians may have been unintentionally killed.
They said some of those injured were in a critical condition.
In a statement on Saturday, Lise Grande, the UN’s resident humanitarian coordinator in Yemen, shared “deep condolences with the families of those killed”.
“So many people are being killed in Yemen – it’s a tragedy and it’s unjustified. Under international humanitarian law parties which resort to force are obligated to protect civilians. Five years into this conflict and belligerents are still failing to uphold this responsibility. It’s shocking,” she said.
Yemen has been at war since 2015, when President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and his cabinet were forced to flee the capital Sanaa by the Houthis.
The coalition carries out air strikes almost every day, while the Houthis often fire missiles into Saudi Arabia.
The civil war has triggered the world’s worst humanitarian disaster, with an estimated 80% of the population – more than 24 million people – requiring humanitarian assistance or protection.
Tens of thousands of people have died as a result of the conflict. (Int’l News Desk)