Houthi rebels down U.S. drone over Yemen, reports say

A U.S. surveillance drone was shot out of the skies over Yemen this week by a surface-to-air missile the Pentagon believes was given to Houthi rebels by Iran.

An MQ-9 Reaper drone, equipped with an extended range modification, is seen at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan. File Photo by Tech. Sgt. Robert Cloys/U.S. Air Force

The MQ-9 drone was downed on Tuesday near the capital Sanaa, CNN reported, citing a U.S. official. Fox News reported it had confirmed the shootdown.

Houthi rebels said they shot the drone down south of Sanaa, but said they didn’t get the missile from Tehran. Sanaa is largely controlled by the Iranian-aligned insurgents.

The downing came just weeks after a U.S. military drone was shot down in the Strait of Hormuz. The Pentagon blamed Iran, but Tehran suggested U.S. military officials had destroyed their own drone.
The U.S. military was ready to launch retaliatory attacks, but they were called off at the last minute by President Donald Trump, who instead answered with new sanctions.

“We have the greatest ships — the most deadly ships, we don’t want to have to use them,” Trump said last month. “We hope for their sake they don’t do anything foolish. If they do, they will pay a price like nobody’s ever paid.”

ByNicholas Sakelaris