Sana'a & Riyadh: A Yemeni combat aircraft crashed and Saudi forces have regained an area seized by Al Houthi rebels in continued fighting on the Saudi-Yemen border, officials said on Sunday.
The Yemeni military said the crash was due to a snag and the pilot survived after ejecting from the plane. But Al Houthi rebels told reporters that they had shot down the aircraft, the third one since the war began on August 10.
Nearly three months after Yemen launched a blistering offensive against the rebels, President Ali Abdullah Saleh says the real war in the north has yet to begin.
Saleh vowed to crush the Zaidi rebellion when Yemen launched Operation Scorched Earth on August 11, and on Saturday he again pledged to keep the military campaign going. "The real combat only started three days ago," Saleh said.
Three soldiers killed
Saudi Arabia continued its bombing campaign inside Yemen and announced that its armed forces had regained total control of all its territories on the border.
Officials also said three soldiers had died and four are missing. There were reports that Al Qaida terrorists may have infiltrated into the Kingdom together with the rebels.
Prince Khalid Bin Sultan, Deputy Minister of Defence and Aviation, who visited the troops, said the situation was under control. "Our troops are in complete control of the Mount Dukhan region and have purged the mountains of Yemeni guerrillas."
Two UAE relief planes arrived at Hodeidah Airport in Yemen on Sunday as part of the Red Crescent Authority's air bridge to support the people affected by the clashes in northern Yemen, WAM reported.
The gesture follows the directives of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The relief planes carried food supplies, tents, blankets as well as medicines, garments and a generator.