U.S. officials have confirmed an MQ-9 has been shot down off the coast of Yemen.
A US drone was shot down by Yemen’s Houthi rebels on Nov. 8, 2023, the Iran-backed group’s military arm claimed on X. According to the spokesperson of the Yemeni Armed Forces, the MQ-9 was shot down in Yemeni airspace.
Our air defenses shot down an American drone (MQ9) while carrying out hostile, monitoring, and spying operations in the Yemeni territorial waters along with the US military support to the Israeli entity.
— Yahya Sare’e (@Yahya_Saree) November 8, 2023
A senior US military official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to CBS News confirmed the downing adding that the drone was operating in international airspace over international waters.
— Abdul Ahad (@Ahadmalik1) November 8, 2023
The incident follow the attack last month when the Arleigh-Burke class guided missile destroyer USS Carney shot down four land attack cruise missiles and 19 drones launched by Houthi forces in Yemen and heading north along the Red Sea, potentially towards targets in Israel, over a nine-hour period.
This is not the first time Houthi rebels, which took control of Yemen’s capital in 2014 launching a civil war against the internationally recognized government of Yemen, shot down an MQ-9: U.S. Repears have been shot down in 2017 and 2019.
U.S. MQ-9s carry out a wide variety of missions: intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, close air support, combat search and rescue, precision strike, buddy-lase, convoy and raid overwatch, route clearance, target development, and terminal air guidance. They are armed and can perform air strikes if needed, using missiles and precision guided munitions.
They regularly operate off Yemen and, more recently, they have also started operating off Gaza.
For the past week I’ve been tracking mysterious tracks that appear south of Crete, fly over Gaza for 3 hours, and then fly back. I suspected these to be MQ-9A Reapers. Thanks to excellent work by @riley_mellen & @EricSchmittNYT, we have some more details.https://t.co/Su0WeUr39r
— Amelia Smith (@ameliairheart) November 2, 2023