Yemeni forces have shot down an Apache military helicopter operated by invading Saudi forces in Yemen’s central province of Ma’rib, killing its two pilots.
The Boeing AH-64 Apache aircraft was conducting an operation over a district in the oil-rich Yemeni province, located 250 kilometers (150 miles) east of the capital, Sana’a, late on Monday when it was targeted by the Yemeni forces, al-Masirah television network reported.
The Saudi forces involved in operations against Yemen claimed in a statement that the aircraft had “crashed due to bad weather.”
The Saudi forces identified the slain pilots as Captain Ayman Alfaifi and First Lieutenant Mohammed Hassan.
The development came only a few hours after at least five Saudi border guards were killed in a fierce exchange of gunfire with Popular Committees fighters, who are fighting alongside Yemeni forces.
Saudi media, citing a statement from the Saudi Interior Ministry, said the five were killed during clashes that lasted for about eight hours on several fronts in the southern border region of Najran.
Separately, Saudi-backed militiamen loyal to Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi — who has resigned as Yemen’s president but seeks to grab power — lobbed more than 130 mortar shells at Sarari area in Sabir al-Mawadim district of Yemen’s southwestern Ta’izz Province early on Tuesday.
Local sources, requesting not to be named, said the militia forces have launched at least 12 attacks against the area in recent days in an attempt to retake it from fighters supporting the Houthi Ansarullah movement.
Yemen has been under military strikes by Saudi Arabia since March 26, 2015. The Saudi war was launched in a bid to undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement and restore power to Hadi.
The Houthi Ansarullah fighters took over state matters after Hadi’s resignation and his escape from the capital, Sana’a.