"Yemeni Houthis Down Another US MQ-9 Reaper: Footage Reveals Wreckage"

Yemen's Houthi rebels claimed they shot down an American MQ-9 Reaper drone with a surface-to-air missile, calling it “hostile.” They released footage and chanted anti-American and anti-Israel slogans. The US military did not comment. Early Saturday, a vessel was attacked off Yemen's coast. The Houthis, armed by Iran, have historically shot down US drones. Additionally, their maritime attacks continue amid the Israel-Hamas war. The Houthis have launched over 50 attacks on shipping, including seizing and sinking vessels since November. A recent attack hit a Panama-flagged oil tanker, causing minor damage.

PTI | Dubai | Updated: 18-05-2024 13:30 IST | Created: 18-05-2024 13:30 IST
"Yemeni Houthis Down Another US MQ-9 Reaper: Footage Reveals Wreckage"
  • Country:
  • United Arab Emirates

Yemen's Houthi rebels on Friday claimed to have shot down an American drone, hours after footage circulated online of what appeared to be the wreckage of an MQ-9 Reaper drone. Early Saturday, a vessel also came under attack in the Red Sea.

The two incidents likely represent just the latest attacks by the Houthis as they press their campaign over the Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip.

Houthi military spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Saree claimed that rebels shot down the Reaper on Thursday with a surface-to-air missile. He described the drone as "carrying out hostile actions'' in Yemen's Marib province, which remains held by allies of Yemen's exiled, internationally recognised government.

The Houthis later released footage they claimed showed the surface-to-air-missile being launched at night, along with night-vision footage of the missile hitting the drone. A man, whose voice had been digitally altered to apparently prevent identification, chanted the Houthi slogan: ''God is the greatest; death to America; death to Israel; curse the Jews; victory to Islam." Online video showed wreckage resembling the pieces of the Reaper on the ground, as well as footage of that wreckage on fire.

The US military did not respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press over the Houthi claim. While the rebels have made claims about attacks that turned out later not to be true, they have a history of shooting down US drones and have been armed by their main benefactor, Iran, with weapons capable of high-altitude attack.

Since the Houthis seized the country's north and its capital, Sanaa, in 2014, the US military has previously lost at least five drones to the rebels.

Reapers, which cost around USD 30 million apiece, can fly at altitudes up to 50,000 feet and have an endurance of up to 24 hours before needing to land.

The drone shootdown comes as the Houthis launch attacks on shipping in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, demanding Israel ends the war in Gaza, which has killed more than 34,000 Palestinians there. The war began after Hamas-led militants attacked Israel on October 7, killing 1,200 people and taking some 250 others hostage.

The Houthis have launched more than 50 attacks on shipping, seized one vessel and sunk another since November, according to the US Maritime Administration.

Early Saturday, the British military's United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations centre said a ship came under attack off the coast of Yemen's port city of Hodeida.

The captain "has confirmed sustaining slight damage after being struck by an unknown object on his port quarter," the UKMTO said. "The vessel and crew are safe and continuing to its next port of call." The private security firm Ambrey said it believed the vessel struck was a Panama-flagged crude oil tanker.

Radio traffic suggested the ship was "hit by a missile and that there was a fire in the steering gear flat," Ambrey said.

The Houthis did not immediately acknowledge the attack, though it typically takes them hours to issue a claim.

Houthi attacks have dropped in recent weeks as the rebels have been targeted by a US-led airstrike campaign in Yemen. Shipping through the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden still remains low because of the threat, however.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Give Feedback