Saudi Arabia says a "technical failure" forced two pilots in an F-15 to eject over waters south of Yemen during a mission amid a bombing campaign targeting Shiite rebels in the country.

The official Saudi Press Agency reported early Saturday that the pilots were in "good health" after ejecting Thursday.

A U.S. Defense Department official told The Associated Press that an American helicopter flew Thursday from neighboring Djibouti to the Gulf of Aden and rescued the airmen. The official says the destroyer USS Sterett coordinated assets from the U.S. naval base in Djibouti and the amphibious transport dock USS New York.

The U.S. official spoke on condition of anonymity as he wasn't authorized to brief journalists by name.

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Associated Press writer Lou Kesten in Washington contributed to this report.