President of Sudan Omar Al Bashir expressed his condolences to King Abdullah Al Saud of Saudi Arabia during a phone call on Tuesday after a Saudi helicopter came down during military operations in Yemen , killing 12 officers.
The death toll was one of the largest in a single incident involving Saudi forces since a Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen’s war in 2015 to try to roll back the dominant Houthi group and restore President Abed-Rabbo Mansour Hadi to power.
The official Saudi news agency SPA quoted a statement from the Saudi-led coalition as saying the Black Hawk came down in Marib province, east of the Houthi-controlled capital Sanaa.
“As a result, four officers and eight non-commissioned officers from the Saudi armed forces were martyred,” it said, adding the possible cause of the crash was under investigation. But the Yemeni defence ministry’s 26 September news website quoted an officer in Yemen’s military high command as saying the helicopter was shot down 5 kms (3 miles) from its landing spot because of “a technical fault that caused a misreading of the air defence system, which resulted in the destruction of the plane before it landed”.
The incident happened as US Defense Secretary James Mattis arrived in Riyadh, to discuss the Yemen war with Saudi leaders.
The names of the soldiers who lost their lives are: Lt. Col. Abdulrahman bin Saeed Al-Shehri, Lt. Col. Faisal Sauda Al-Subaie, Capt. Turki bin Ibrahim Al-Huwairini, 1st Lt. Rayan bin Abdulrahman Al-Shahrani, Master Sgt. Ali bin Yahya Al-Sheikhi, Cpl. Moeedh Mohammed Al-Qahtani, Cpl. Mahal bin Salem Al-Rashidi, Pvt. Mohammed Abdullah Al-Saeiri, Sgt. Ali Abdullah Al-Halafi, Technical Sgt. Musa Salem Al-Shihri, Master Sgt. Nayef Hassan Moawad, Pvt. 1st Class Mohammed Ahmed Aqeeli.