Middle East

Iran-Backed Rebels Claim Downing Of US Drone

A military spokesperson says the MQ-9 Reaper was hit by a missile over Yemen, two months after a similar incident.

An MQ-9 Reaper in flight (Picture: US Department of Defense).

Houthi rebels in Yemen claim they have shot down a US drone over the north of Yemen, with US Central Command aware of the claims that an MQ-9 Reaper aircraft was hit by a missile.

With tensions continuing between Iran and the United States, military spokesperson for the Iran-backed rebels, Yahia Sarie, said the drone was shot down by air defences above Dhamar.

It follows a similar incident in June, when Houthis shot down a drone belonging to the United States.

Iran has consistently denied providing drone or missile capabilities to the Houthis, who have recently targetted Saudi Arabia and vessels in the Red Sea with missiles.

An MQ-9 Reaper during a training mission over the Nevada Test and Training Range (Picture: US Department of Defense).

The conflict in Yemen began with the 2014 takeover of Sanaa by the Houthis, who drove out the internationally recognised government.

In March 2015, the coalition launched its air campaign to prevent the rebels from overrunning the south.

Iran has repeatedly denied supplying the Houthis with drone or missile technology, both of which the rebels have increasingly used, including to target Saudi Arabia.