21:31 GMT02 March 2021
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    Earlier, Yemen's Houthi militia claimed that their air defence systems had "intercepted" an F-15 fighter jet "belonging to the countries of aggression in Saada province." At the time, the Houthis did not detail the flag of the coalition warplane.

    A spokesman for the Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen, Lt. Col. Turki Al-Maliki, called the Houthi claims of intercepting and downing a Saudi aircraft “baseless and unfounded”, cited by the kingdom's state-owned Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

    Al-Maliki noted that what was published earlier in the day was in reference to a previous and unsuccessful attempt that took place on 1 July, 2018, describing the newly made claim by the Houthis as "a continuation of its deliberate falsification methodology”.

    On Wednesday, the Houthi militia alleged that they had "intercepted" an F-15 jet belonging to a Saudi-led coalition member force.

    Yemen's armed Houthi political opposition faction have repeatedly claimed responsibility for attacks on Saudi's planes, drones and facilities.

    The latest major attack - which Houthis have also claimed responsibility for - occurred on 14 September, after combat drones caused major damage and fires at two major oil facilities run by the kingdom's state-owned Saudi Aramco petrochemical giant. The September attack reportedly interrupted and suspended the nation's oil production for over a week.

    Yemen has been engulfed in a violent conflict between the government headed by Yemeni President-in-exile Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and the Houthi opposition movement, also known as Ansar Allah.

    Since March 2015, a Saudi-led military coalition of mostly Persian Gulf countries has been carrying out airstrikes against the Houthis at Hadi's request.

    The conflict in Yemen has been described by the United Nations as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with nearly 80 percent of the 24-million-strong population currently in need of aid and protection.


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    claims, downing, f-15, Yemen, Houthis, Saudi Arabia
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