On March 24, the Houthis (Ansar Allah) released a video documenting the shooting down of a US-made MQ-9 combat drone with an anti-aircraft missile.
The drone was shot down over the central Yemen province of Ma’rib a day earlier. According to the Houthis claims, the drone was conducting “combat operations.”
In the video, the drone can be seen receiving a direct hit from an anti-aircraft missile right after firing a munition. Brig. Gen. Yahya Sari, a spokesman for the Houthis, said that the drone was targeted with a “new missile,” without providing any additional information.
The Houthis operate upgraded Soviet air-defense systems as well as air-to-air missiles which had been modified to be launched from the ground.
The MQ-9 “Reaper,” which was first presented by General Atomics in 2007, has an endurance of 14 hours. The combat drone can carry more than 1,000 kg of precision-guided weapons.
The drone was likely operated by the US military or the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) which are known to be engaged in a drone war in Yemen.
The Houthis are currently leading a large offensive on the Saudi-led coalition and its proxies in Ma’rib. The US combat drone may have been conducting operations against the Yemeni group in support of the coalition.
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