US Official: A Missile Downed Our Drone in Yemen

Houthis have claimed responsibility
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 21, 2019 8:11 AM CDT
A US MQ-9 drone is on display during an air show at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018.   (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)

(Newser) – Two US officials confirmed to Reuters what a Houthi military rep has claimed: that a US drone was shot down over Yemen on Tuesday night. What is less established is whether the Iran-allied Houthi rebels downed the MQ-9 drone. That's what the rep claims; one official tells CNN a surface-to-air missile brought it down, and that it's thought Iran gave the Houthis the weapon. One of the officials who talked to Reuters says it's too early to definitively say. The incident occurred southeast of the capital Sanaa, which is under Houthi control.

Though CNN reports a Houthi rep seemed to claim the rebels had developed the missile in Yemen and would reveal it at a press conference, the US official indicated that the White House would chide Iran for what happened. By way of background, Reuters reports the US has been known to use drones in Yemen against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. (A strike on Iran in retaliation for the downing of a US drone in June was abruptly called off by Trump.)

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