A Jordanian F-16 fighter jet crashed in southern Saudi Arabia, reportedly due to a “technical error”, according to a Saudi-led military coalition in which the aircraft had been taking part.
“The pilot survived the crash and is in good health,” read a Friday statement issued by the coalition.
According to the coalition, the incident occurred in Saudi Arabia’s southwestern Najran region near the border with Yemen.
Despite the coalition’s claim that the plane had crashed due to technical reasons, an unnamed military source quoted by Yemen’s Al-Masirah television channel said the plane had been downed by Yemen’s Shia Houthi militia.
The Houthi-run channel, however, did not provide any additional details or evidence -- such as video footage -- to back up the assertion.
Yemen has remained wracked by conflict since 2014, when the Houthis and forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh overran capital Sanaa and other parts of the country.
The conflict escalated in 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies launched an extensive air campaign -- to which Jordan contributed six F-16s -- aimed at reversing Houthi military gains and supporting Yemen’s Saudi-backed government.
*Reporting by Ahmed al-Masri; Writing by Mahmoud Barakat