Two Emirati pilots were killed after their aircraft crashed in Yemen, Emirates News Agency reported yesterday.
The General Command of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces announced the death of Major Pilot Ali Saeed Saif Al-Mesmari and First Lieutenant Pilot Badr Yahiya Mohammed Al-Marasheda in Yemen.
The pilots’ aircraft crashed 110 kilometres north of the capital, Sana’a, in Jawf province as a result of a technical failure whilst engaging in hostilities alongside the Saudi-led coalition’s “Operation Restoring Hope”.
— WAM News / English (@WAMNEWS_ENG) October 17, 2017
It is unclear what aircraft the men were flying when it crashed and whether an investigation will follow.
The United Arab Emirates entered the Yemen civil war as part of a coalition of Arab states led by Saudi Arabia in March 2015. Internationally recognised Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi called upon the states to support his legitimacy and push back military advancements made by the Iranian backed Houthi armed group. Former President Ali Abdullah Saleh and soldiers loyal to him allied with the Houthis.
The UAE is focusing its military presence in southern Yemen, supporting the establishment of the Southern Transitional Council led by close ally Aidarous Al-Zubaidi. The Southern Transitional Council calls for secession from northern Yemen, a goal which contradicts the Saudi-led coalition’s original mandate of supporting Hadi for a unified Yemen.