US military drone shot down in Yemen

The MQ-9 drone was shot down by the Houthis using a surface to air missile, according to one official. (AFP/File photo)
Updated 26 August 2019
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US military drone shot down in Yemen

  • The MQ-9 drone was shot down in Yemen’s Dhamar governate, southeast of the Houthi-controlled capital Sanaa,
  • Official says drone had been shot down by a surface-to-air missile operated by the Iran-backed Houthis

WASHINGTON: A US military MQ-9 drone was shot down in Yemen’s Dhamar governate, southeast of the Houthi-controlled capital Sanaa, two US officials told Reuters on Wednesday, the second such incident in recent months.
The officials said the drone was shot down late on Tuesday.
This is not the first time a US drone has been shot down in Yemen. In June, the US military said that Houthi rebels had shot down a US government-operated drone with assistance from Iran.
US forces have occasionally launched drone and air strikes against Yemen’s Al-Qaeda branch, known as Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
The group has taken advantage of a four-year-old war between the Houthi movement and President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s internationally recognized government to try to strengthen its position in the impoverished country.
One of the officials said that it appeared that the armed military drone, made by California-based General Atomics, had been shot down by a surface-to-air missile operated by the Iran-aligned Houthi group.
“It appears to have been fired by the Houthis and enabled by Iran,” the official said, without providing details or specific evidence.
The official said that while losing a drone was expensive, it was not unprecedented and it was unlikely to lead to any major response by the United States.
The other official cautioned that it was too early to tell who was responsible for the incident.
In a statement, the US military said it was investigating reports that a drone had been attacked “in authorized airspace over Yemen.”
“We have been clear that Iran’s provocative actions and support to militants and proxies, like the Iranian-backed Houthis, poses a serious threat to stability in the region and our partners,” the US military’s Central Command said.
Overnight, a Houthi military spokesman Yahya Saria said that the drone had been shot down.
The drone shoot-down comes as tensions between Iran and the United States have risen since President Donald Trump’s administration last year quit an international deal to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions and began to ratchet up sanctions.


Lebanon concludes Israeli drones were on attack mission

Updated 4 min 4 sec ago

Lebanon concludes Israeli drones were on attack mission

  • At a press conference in Beirut Thursday, Bou Saab said it was “the most dangerous act of aggression by Israel” since the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah
  • One of the drones was armed with 4.5 kilograms of explosives

BEIRUT: A Lebanese government investigation has concluded that two Israeli drones that crashed in the Lebanese capital last month were on an attack mission, one of them armed with 4.5 kilograms of explosives.
Defense Minister Elias Bou Saab says investigations show the drones took off from gunboats in the Mediterranean Sea Aug. 25 before one drone crashed on the roof of Hezbollah’s media office in southern Beirut, and another exploded and crashed into a nearby plot 42 minutes later.
At a press conference in Beirut Thursday, Bou Saab said it was “the most dangerous act of aggression by Israel” since the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah.
He described a sophisticated military mission that saw armed drones fly over Beirut’s international airport and explode on a Beirut street.