Eight Syrians die in Yemeni warplane crash
The incident happened while landing at Al-Anad Military Base in Lahj, south Yemen and a Yemeni pilot also died, while his assistant was injured.
However, Yemen’s army forces loyal to the revolution said in statement on Wednesday that the eight died Syrian technicians were in fact pilots. It claimed they were were brought from Syria to Yemen to quell the Yemen opposition forces after native pilots refused orders to shoot their own people.
The Syrian and Yemeni regimes claimed that the incident was a simple accident. However, the defected armored division in Yemen claimed that the Yemeni pilot, Abd Al-Aziz Al-Shami who flew the plane had shut down the engines before landing at the military base.
“The eight Syrian pilots arrived in Sana’a on Monday October 24 and after desperate attempts from the regime to move the coming Syrians to Al-Anad military base, Yemeni pilot Abd Al-Aziz Al-Shami volunteered but secretly told colleagues that they [Syrian pilots] would not reach their destination,” read the statement by the Yemen’s defected army.
“And on Tuesday night the revolutionary pilot Al-Shami flew the plane and shut it down in Al-Sabiha area of Lahj and the Syrian pilots were killed,” the statement said.
Abdo Al-Janadi, Yemen’s deputy minister of information stated that this was a falsehood by the defected First Armored Division and that “the opposition uses such allegations to gain the public and international support.”
“These were just Syrian technicians who came to Yemen according to a cooperation agreement between the Arab states,” Al-Janadi said. “The Yemeni air force has not been used yet against the revolution, the defected army or the tribal forces.”
A solider from Yemen’s elite army the Republican Guards [commanded by president Saleh’s son], who requested anonymity, said that Saleh’s forces have been using warplanes against the opposition tribal forces in Arhab, north Sana’a.
And the tribal forces in Arhab who have been battling Saleh’s loyal forces since last May have shut down a Yemeni military plane late last September by anti-aircraft weapons.
The bodies of dead Syrians and the Yemeni pilot as well as other Yemeni military officers who were on the board during the accident are still in a hospital in Aden, according to local sources.