Houthi Rebels In Yemen Claim To Have Shot Down US Drone

Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed on Friday to have shot down an American MQ-9 Reaper drone. The incident came hours after footage circulated online showing what appeared to be the wreckage of such a drone.

Houthi military spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Saree said the rebels used a surface-to-air missile to shoot down the drone on Thursday. He claimed the drone was “carrying out hostile actions” in Yemen’s Marib province which is held by the government’s allies.

The U.S. military did not immediately confirm the incident. However, the Houthis have previously shot down at least five U.S. drones since seizing northern Yemen and its capital Sanaa in 2014.

The drone shootdown comes as the Houthis launch attacks on shipping in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. They are demanding an end to the war in Gaza which has killed over 34000 Palestinians since Hamas-led militants attacked Israel on Oct. 7.

Houthi attacks have decreased recently as the rebels have been targeted by U.S.-led airstrikes in Yemen. However, shipping in the region remains low due to the ongoing threat posed by the Houthis who have launched more than 50 attacks on vessels since November.

If confirmed this would be another significant loss for the U.S. military in Yemen. MQ-9 Reaper drones cost around $30 million each and can fly at altitudes up to 50000 feet for up to 24 hours.