Monday, 26 June, 2017

Saudi Military Helicopter Crashes In Yemen, Kills 12

Ahmad Asiri Ahmad Asiri
Clarence Schmidt | 19 April, 2017, 01:23

Military sources allied to the Houthi Ansarullah movement said on Tuesday that the Black Hawk helicopter was downed earlier in the day in Ma'rib province in northeastern Yemen.

Houthi rebels seized the capital Sana'a in September 2014 and continued to advance through the country, before the Yemeni army backed by the Saudi-led air campaign managed to regain the southern city of Aden, which now hosts the government and the presidential office.

The two-year war has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 civilians and led to the displacement of 3 million Yemenis.

The incident happened as U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis arrived in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, to discuss the Yemen war with Saudi leaders.

Saudis and allies have also suffered considerable casualties in the operation on Yemen as official estimates say more than 500 soldiers from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain have been killed since March 2015.

Read the latest on Donald Trump's first 100 days in office.

The United Nations says that more than 7,700 people have been killed since March 2015 in Yemen, which also faces a serious risk of starvation this year.

"Our aim is that this crisis can be handed to a team of negotiators under the aegis of the United Nations that can try to find a political solution as quickly as possible", he said as he flew to Riyadh.

Sisi met Saudi King Salman last month on the sidelines of the Arab League summit in Jordan, breaking the ice after months of tensions between the longtime allies. "This is something with the innocent number of people dying inside Yemen that has simply has to be brought to an end".

Washington alleges that Iran, Saudi Arabia's regional rival, has shipped missiles to Yemen but Tehran denies the charge. President Abed-Rabbo Mansour Hadi insists on the implementation of the U.N. Security Council resolutions which stipulate that the Houthis pull their militias from the cities and hand over heavy weapons, while the Shiite rebels demand on a power-sharing deal before taking any security-related steps.

The Saudi-led coalition has recently made some gains against the Houthis in western Yemen, but fighting on other fronts, including Marib, has been static, with little ground changing hands. They are in the middle of an offensive to capture the lengthy Red Sea coastline.

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