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Middle Eastern country says it downed US drone

The Reaper UAV was allegedly on a spying mission in support of Israel

The Houthi government of Yemen announced on Wednesday that it had shot down an American drone that had encroached into their territorial waters. 

“With the help of God Almighty, our air defenses were able to shoot down an American MQ9 aircraft while it was carrying out hostile, monitoring and spying activities in the airspace of Yemeni territorial waters and within the framework of American military support for the Israeli entity,” the Yemeni military said in a statement

There was no mention of the location of the incident, or the type of weapons used.

“Hostile movements will not deter the Yemeni armed forces from continuing to carry out military operations against the Israeli entity in support of the oppressed Palestinian people,” the military added.

The US military has not commented on the reported incident. A photo of a burning Reaper drone has been circulating on social media, but it has not been independently verified. 

Read more

Yemen confirms joining Israel-Gaza conflict

At the end of October, Yemen confirmed it had repeatedly launched drones and missiles against Israel, and said it intended to continue doing so. 

Sanaa had decided on that course of action “out of a sense of religious, moral, humanitarian and national responsibility,” in order to “provide relief to our oppressed people in Gaza,” Yemeni military spokesman Yahya Saree said at the time.

The US military has previously said it had shot down multiple missiles and drones headed towards Israel over the Red Sea, but would not confirm if they had come from Yemen.

READ MORE: Israel’s incursion into Gaza — Live Updates

Israel declared war on Gaza after the October 7 incursion by Hamas, in which an estimated 1,400 Israelis were killed and another 200 or more taken captive. As of Wednesday, Gaza health officials have recorded over 10,000 Palestinians killed and more than 26,000 wounded, along with 2,550 missing, as a result of Israeli air and ground operations.

A Reaper drone crashed into the Black Sea in March, after it was intercepted by two Russian jets for flying too close to Crimea. The US claimed a Russian fighter had struck the drone’s propeller, but Moscow denied any contact had occurred. The Pentagon has been flying drones close to Russian airspace in support of the Ukrainian military, while claiming it is not involved in the conflict.

The US and Iran almost came to blows in June 2019, after Iranian air defenses brought down an American RQ-4A Global Hawk. Tehran said the UAV had strayed into Iranian airspace and ignored warnings to turn around, while Washington insisted the drone had been shot down in an “unprovoked attack” while patrolling over international waters.


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