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Houthis down another US MQ-9 Reaper drone 

Houthi fighters downed a US Reaper drone in Yemen's central Ma'rib region using what a Houthi news channel described as a 'locally made surface-to-air missile.'

May 30, 2024 at 11:47 am

Yemen’s Houthi-aligned armed forces announced yesterday that they had successfully downed a US MQ-9 Reaper drone over the central province of Marib. Military spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Saree confirmed that the operation was carried out using a locally-manufactured surface-to-air missile. The incident marks the second time in recent days and the sixth since last year that Yemeni forces have downed this type of advanced drone, valued at approximately $30 million.

The incident was part of Yemen’s broader pro-Palestine military efforts, which began targeting Israeli-linked ships last November, shortly after Israel’s invasion of Gaza. These attacks have since expanded to include US and British vessels in retaliation for air strikes by the two Western countries aimed at curbing Sanaa’s anti-Israel operations.

Affirming their commitment to continuing maritime operations and drone attacks on Israeli-occupied ports until the cessation of attacks on Gaza, a statement by the Houthi-allied military said: “The Yemeni Armed Forces, by the grace of Allah, continue to develop their defensive capabilities to confront the American-British aggression and all hostile forces.”

Footage and images circulating on social media confirm the downing of the drone, which appeared largely intact in the Marib desert, with its tail assembly detached. Despite this, the US Air Force has not confirmed any losses, with a defence official denying the loss of any aircraft in the region.

According to Al-Masriah, “The streak of shooting down MQ-9 Reaper spy aircraft spans seven years, starting on 1 October, 2017, when Yemeni Air Defence intercepted the first aircraft of this model over the skies of the capital Sanaa.” The successful targeting of MQ-9 drones indicates a “narrowing gap” in aerial superiority between Sana’a and Washington, the outlet added.

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