WASHINGTON — A Defense Department official says U.S. forces rescued two Saudi airmen after they ejected from an F-15 fighter jet over waters south of Yemen, where Saudi Arabia is leading airstrikes against Iran-allied Houthi rebels.
The official says a U.S. helicopter flew Thursday from neighboring Djibouti to the Gulf of Aden and rescued the airmen. Initial reports said the rescued airmen were "ambulatory."
The destroyer USS Sterett took lead of the situation after Saudi Arabia requested U.S. assistance Thursday afternoon, coordinating assets from the U.S. naval base in Djibouti and the amphibious transport dock USS New York.
The official, who was not authorized to discuss the operation by name and requested anonymity, had no information on the two airmen's status or why they ejected from their plane.