MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Saudi-led international coalition, which has been conducting airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen, named the pilots as Ali Bin Mohammed al-Qarni and Nasser bin Mohammed al-Harthy, Al Arabiya said citing a state press agency report.
The pilots were killed while protecting the borders of Saudi Arabia, according to the report.
The Apache helicopter went down late on Friday. A Houthi military representative told the Lebanese Al-Manar television channel that the helicopter was shot down by Houthis using a surface-to-air missile. He added that Houthi forces also shelled Saudi Arabia’s southwestern Asir Region.
Yemen has been engulfed in a military conflict between Shiite Houthi rebels, the country’s main opposition, and forces loyal Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who is in exile in Saudi Arabia.
A coalition of Arab states, led by Saudi Arabia, has been launching airstrikes in Yemen at the request of Hadi since March, in an attempt to push Houthis out of areas they have come to control.
The ongoing hostilities in Yemen have claimed the lives of at least 1,900 civilians, while more than 4,000 have suffered injuries, according to the United Nations.