12 die as warplane crashes in Sanaa

Updated 20 February 2013
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12 die as warplane crashes in Sanaa

SANAA: A Yemeni air force plane crashed in the capital Sanaa yesterday, killing at least 12 people, security sources said.
State news agency Saba said three women and two children were among those killed when the plane, on a training flight, came down in a western residential district. Eleven people were wounded, security sources said.
Pictures of the crash on social media sites showed one body near burning wreckage of the aircraft. Several cars were on fire and debris littered the street.
A security official said the pilot had ejected from the plane. There was no immediate word on whether he had survived.
“It’s terrible and painful,” resident Abdullah Al-Ashwal said.
“The police and medics evacuated five completely burned bodies, they were all unrecognizable.”
Abdulsattar Mohammed said he saw a plane burning near houses that were also set on fire. “People were terrified and ambulances arrived late,” he said.
A military official said the plane was a Russian SU-22 fighter/ground attack aircraft.
Yemen has 30 SU-22s and four SU-22UM3s in an air force with 79 capable aircraft in all, according to the 2012 Military Balance handbook issued by the International Institute of Strategic Studies.
In November 2012, a Yemeni military transport plane crashed near Sanaa airport and burst into flames, killing all 10 people aboard.


UAE minister: Arab coalition’s full control of Hodeidah only a matter of time

Updated 5 min 51 sec ago
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UAE minister: Arab coalition’s full control of Hodeidah only a matter of time

  • Gargash, speaking to reporters in Dubai, estimated the number of Houthi fighters in Hodeidah at between 2,000 to 3,000
  • The UN envoy for Yemen carried a plan to halt fighting around the key aid port of Hodeidah where Houthi militia have been battling a regional coalition as he arrived Saturday in the militia-held capital Sanaa

DUBAI: The Saudi-led coalition fighting Iran-aligned Houthis for control of Yemen’s main port city of Hodeidah will take a “calculated and gradual” approach to the battle, a senior United Arab Emirates official said on Monday.

The comments came after witnesses said eight villagers had been killed and 15 others wounded when Houthi militia shelled a village in the center of the country called Haglan Maris.

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said the military alliance led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE was taking into consideration a “fragile humanitarian situation,” avoiding civilian casualties in addition to military calculations.

Gargash, speaking to reporters in Dubai, estimated the number of Houthi fighters in Hodeidah at between 2,000 to 3,000. He declined to reveal the size of coalition forces but said they had “numerical superiority.”

He said that the Arab coalition’s full control of Hodeidah only a matter of time.

Gargash added that the Hodeidah port is a “major artery” for weapons smuggling from Iran to the Houthis.

“The liberation of Hodeidah is a major step in freeing Sanaa,” the UAE minister said, adding that “the roads leading to the port are filled with mines.”

France is said to be helping the Arab coalition in demining the roads.

“We have opened the road from Hodeidah to Sanaa to allow the militias to flee without resistance,” Gargash said.

The UN envoy for Yemen carried a plan to halt fighting around the key aid port of Hodeidah where Houthi militia have been battling a regional coalition as he arrived Saturday in the militia-held capital Sanaa for emergency talks.

Martin Griffiths was expected to propose to militia leaders that they cede control of the Red Sea port to a UN-supervised committee and halt heavy clashes against advancing government troops backed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

(With AFP, AP & Reuters)