Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen reportedly shot down an American military drone, the MQ-9 Reaper, near the country’s coastline.
The incident occurred as Houthi rebels launched a series of missile strikes, including cruise and ballistic missiles, as well as unmanned aerial vehicles, targeting Israel. These attacks were in response to Israel’s ongoing military operations in the Gaza Strip.
In a X (formerly Twitter) post, FOX News chief national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin wrote: “A senior US defense official tells me “We can confirm that a U.S. military MQ-9 remotely-piloted aircraft was shot down while in international airspace over international waters off the coast of Yemen. U.S. Central Command officials are assessing the incident.”
The Houthi rebels, backed by Iran, have claimed responsibility for the downing of the MQ-9 Reaper over Yemen’s territorial waters. They argued that their “air defense” brought down the drone during what they described as “hostile surveillance and espionage activities in Yemeni territorial airspace.”
Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthis release footage showing American MQ-9 Reaper UAV being shot down over Yemeni territorial waters. pic.twitter.com/sU0eI5d7vi
— Clash Report (@clashreport) November 8, 2023
In their statement on X, the rebel group also asserted that the drone’s activities were conducted “in support of Israel’s aggression against the Palestinian people,” although no evidence was provided to substantiate this claim.
Yemeni Houthi forces, in their statement, defended their right to protect their country and resist perceived “hostile threats,” vowing to continue their military operations against Israel.
The downing of the MQ-9 Reaper has sparked concerns about regional stability and international security. The drone, officially known as the General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper, is a formidable unmanned aerial vehicle capable of conducting surveillance, reconnaissance, and, if needed, military strikes. Developed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, this drone is primarily operated by the United States Air Force.
It is worth noting that the precise U.S. military branch or service to which the MQ-9 Reaper belonged remains undisclosed. However, this incident highlights the intricate and perilous dynamics at play in the region.