A MQ-9 Reaper, an advanced U.S. military drone, was shot down by Iran-backed Houthi forces off the coast of Yemen Wednesday, a senior U.S. defense official revealed.
“We can confirm that a U.S. military MQ-9 remotely-piloted aircraft was shot down off the coast of Yemen by Houthi forces,” the senior official told Fox News, underlining a spike in the regional tension that has involved multiple attacks by Iranian-backed groups against U.S. forces in the Middle East.
According to the senior defense official, the latest confrontation occurred as the drone, valued at roughly $30 million, conducted routine surveillance over international waters. Central Command officials are currently investigating the details of the incident, which marks a significant challenge to U.S. military operations in the region.
The downing of the MQ-9 Reaper, allegedly by a SA-6 surface-to-air missile, was allegedly documented in a video released by Houthi terrorists.
The MW-9 Reaper drone, equipped with state-of-the-art imaging technology, is capable of high-altitude reconnaissance and precision strikes, carrying up to eight laser-guided hellfire missiles, according to the U.S. Air Force. The unmanned drone’s versatility makes it a critical asset in the U.S. military’s surveillance and intelligence-gathering operations.
The Houthi attack against the U.S. military drone mirrors an earlier incident from June 6, 2019, when Houthi forces successfully shot down a similar drone, according to Fox News. Notably, the Biden administration removed the Houthis from the U.S. list of terrorist groups in 2021, according to The Daily Wire.
The attack against the MQ-9 Reaper, with its impressive 66-foot wingspan and ability to stay airborne for over 27 hours, reflects the heightened risks U.S. forces have faced from Iranian-backed terrorist organizations in the Middle East over the past few weeks.
This news article was partially created with the assistance of artificial intelligence and edited and fact-checked by a human editor.