OAN’s Elizabeth Volberding
6:15 PM – Wednesday, November 8, 2023
A United States MQ-9 drone was reportedly shot down by Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels, according to a spokesperson of the Yemeni Armed Forces.
On Wednesday, a spokesperson of the Yemeni Armed Forces made a statement on X, formerly Twitter, claiming that the MQ-9 drone was shot down in Yemeni airspace.
The Iran-backed Houthi forces claimed responsibility for the shootdown earlier on Wednesday.
U.S. MQ-9 drones carry out a broad variety of operations, which include intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, close air support, combat search and rescue, and more.
MQ-9s are armed and have the ability to perform air strikes if needed, using missiles and precision led munitions. The drones consistently operate in Yemen and have begun conducting procedures in Gaza.
A senior U.S military official disclosed that the drone was functioning in “international airspace over international waters.”
The official also stated that the incident is being looked into by U.S. Central Command.
The shootdown comes several weeks after the Houthis fired multiple missiles and drones at the USS Carney, a U.S. Navy warship, as it headed north across the Red Sea.
Over the course of nine hours, the ship shot down 15 drones, four cruise missiles, and their trajectory suggested that the projectiles were aimed towards Israel.
In recent weeks since Hamas’s initial attack on Israel, Iranian proxy groups have increased their attacks on U.S. military forces and assets in the Middle East.
Since October 17th, at least 40 attacks on U.S. and coalition bases in Iraq and Syria have occurred, according to officials. As a result, several U.S. service members have suffered minor injuries as well as traumatic brain injuries.
A senior defense official acknowledged Iran as “the center of gravity” regarding the attacks on U.S. forces in the area, claiming that “Iranian fingerprints are all over this.”
On October 26th, the U.S. retaliated by initiating airstrikes in Syria that were aimed at infrastructure used by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its agents.
The Houthis claimed to have launched at least four groups of drones and missiles targeted toward southern Israel since October 7th. The organization operates the capital and the majority of northern and western Yemen, where most of the country’s population resides.
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