U.S. MQ-9 Reaper Drone Shot Down By Yemen’s Houthi Rebels


MQ-9 shot down
A screenshot from the video released by the Houthi rebels.

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.

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.

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.

David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


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