The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has confirmed one of its fighter planes taking part in a bombing campaign in Yemen is missing. The country's official news agency, WAM, announced this morning (14 March) the "fighter aircraft" had been lost during a mission.
The incident is the first time a UAE combat plane has been lost since the Emirates joined the Saudi-led coalition offensive against Shi'ite Houthi rebels in Yemen. Airstrikes commenced in March 2015 in support of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.
Officials have yet to reveal the circumstances in which the aircraft was lost or whether there has been any loss of life. The type of fighter plane was also not specified, with the UAE operating both F-16 and Mirage 2000 fighter jets.
In May last year, a Moroccan F-16 became the first coalition warplane to crash in Yemen, with Houthi rebel groups claiming they shot it down. In December, a Bahrain F-16 crashed near the Yemen border in Saudi Arabia due to a "technical error", with the pilot surviving.
Both jets were taking part in the Yemen bombing campaign, dubbed "Operation Restoring Hope". More than 6,000 people have died in the conflict – half of them civilians – with the UN criticising both the coalition and rebels for the casualties.