BLOG

On March 21, the Houthi insurgency in Yemen, also known as the Houthi rebellion, reportedly shot down a Saudi Arabian McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle, in the northwestern region of war-torn Yemen, cited Sputnik.

A source within the Yemeni air defenses told Saba News Agency that Houthi rebels launched a surface-to-air missile (SAM), and “managed to hit an F-15 aircraft belonging to the aggression [Saudi Arabia], carrying out criminal and hostile raids over the city of Saada.”

The source confirmed to Saba that Houthi rebels carried out “monitoring and targeting of the aircraft [F-15] with the latest defense technology developed locally successfully.”

This alleged footage had surfaced on social media of the moment when Houthi rebels launched a surface-to-air missile (SAM) — striking the F-15 fighter jet, which caused the warplane to erupt in flames at high altitudes.

Meanwhile, the spokesman of the Saudi Arabian-led coalition forces, Colonel Turki al-Maliki said the warplane was struck at 15:48 local time (1248 GMT) by a surface-to-air missile (SAM) launched from Saada airport camp in Yemen. Al-Maliki noted that the plane received minimal damage from the strike and managed to return to a Saudi Arabian airbase.

Al-Maliki stressed that the surface-to-air missile (SAM) was “not included in the Yemeni government arms arsenal…and that this is another proof of Iranian weapons smuggling to the Shiite rebels in Yemen.”

Three years into the 2015 Saudi-led invasion of Yemen, Iran has long denied smuggling weapons to the Yemeni rebels. According to SouthFront, their team of experts alleges the unidentified warplane was hit by “what appears to be a Soviet-made R-27T missile.”

A video released by the Houthis media wing clearly showed an unidentified warplane being hit by what appears to be a Soviet made R-27T missile. The Saudi-led collation revealed last November that the he Houthis had managed to turn Soviet-made R-27T air-to-air missiles into ground-to-air missiles.

The R-27T is guided by infrared homing, and has the “fire and forget” feature, which makes it easy to convert it into a ground-to-air missile. The R-27T’s range is 70km when it’s launched from air. Nonetheless, the missile will have a shorter range when the missile it is launched from the ground. The Saudi-led coalition has not commented on the incident yet, likely because the warplane managed to return to its home airbase or crashed in an area under the coalition control.

So far in 2018, this is the second time the Houthi rebels have claimed they have struck an F-15 or Saudi Arabian-linked warplane over the skies of Yemen. On Janurary 08, Houthi rebels released dramatic footage of a surface-to-air missile (SAM) downing an F-15 fighter jet, though Saudi media denied the report and said it crashed due to technical problems…

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump commended Saudi Arabia’s defense acquisitions as he met with Mohammed bin Salman (MbS), at the White House — and pushed for even more.

“Saudi Arabia is a very wealthy nation, and they’re going to give the United States some of that wealth, hopefully, in the form of jobs, in the form of the purchase of the finest military equipment anywhere in the world,” Trump said.

It has been increasingly evident that U.S. defense sales to Saudi Arabia are a dominant force in allowing the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen to flourish.

As President Trump becomes the most excellent salesman the military-industrial complex has ever seen, perhaps the Saudis should reevaluate their F-15 purchases, as a rogue underfunded rebel group in Yemen has managed to damage two of their American made warplanes in less than three months.

Interesting enough, as we described above, it is possible that a Russian manufactured missile struck an American made fighter jet over the skies of Yemen.