Saudi officers killed in helicopter crash in Yemen

The Saudi-led coalition announced on Tuesday that a military Black Hawk helicopter crashed in Yemen, killing 12 military personnel onboard, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The U.S. military is providing support for a Saudi-led coalition fighting anti-government Houthi rebels.

"If Sisi comes out and denies the claims it would cause a commotion in the kingdom ahead of his upcoming meeting with the King and if he confirms it then it would anger the Egyptian public who are opposed to sending troops overseas", Ezz said.

It comes amid mounting evidence of greater Iranian involvement in supporting the Houthi rebels and their allied forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

A mine blast killed a Saudi border guard on Sunday on the kingdom s southern frontier with war-wracked Yemen, the interior ministry said.

The incident happened as U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis arrived in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, to discuss the Yemen war with Saudi leaders.

The new United States administration is seeking closer alignment with Riyadh and Abu Dhabi on confronting Iranian influence in the region.

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The coalition of mostly Arab Sunni countries has waged a campaign to dislodge Yemeni Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, who seized Yemen's capital in 2014 and forced the internationally-recognized government to flee the country.

The kingdom also plans to launch a second bidding round for 400 MW of wind power at a project in Domat al-Jandal in al-Jouf Province by the fourth quarter of this year, which will be followed by 620 MW of solar power, Turki Shehri, head of the renewable energy project development office at the energy ministry told reporters on Monday.

The coalition hopes that a successful operation there would force the rebels back to the negotiating table, in a considerably weaker position and thus more amenable to concessions.

"Our aim is that this crisis can be handed to a team of negotiators under the aegis of the United Nations that can try to find a political solution as quickly as possible", he said as he flew to Riyadh.

He also echoed past Saudi accusations that Houthis have been receiving arms from Iran, saying that the Iranians have supplied Houthis with missiles they use to fire on Saudi Arabia.

"We continue to deconflict with the Russians for safety of flight, to avoid any kind of misunderstanding, or any kind of inadvertent running into each other" as the two militaries carry out strikes against targets in close proximity, the Pentagon chief said.

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