A US military MQ-9 drone was shot down in Yemen’s Dhamar governate, southeast of the Houthi-controlled capital Sanaa, two US officials told Reuters yesterday, the second such incident in recent months.
A Houthi military spokesman had earlier said that air defences had brought down a US drone.
The officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the drone was shot down late on Tuesday.
This is not the first time a US drone has been shot down in Yemen.
In June, the US military said that Houthi rebels had shot down a US government-operated drone with assistance from Iran.
US forces have occasionally launched drone and air strikes against Yemen’s Al Qaeda branch, known as Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).The group has taken advantage of a four-year-old war between the Houthi movement and President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s Saudi-backed government to try to strengthen its position in the impoverished country.
One of the officials said that it appeared that the armed military drone, made by California-based General Atomics, had been shot down by a surface-to-air missile operated by the Houthi group.
The official said that while losing a drone was expensive, it was not unprecedented and it was unlikely to lead to any major response by the United States.
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