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Pic: German warship mistakenly fires at US drone: Report

MQ-9 Reaper during Exercise Northern Strike 2019. (Arizona Air National Guard/Released)
February 29, 2024

German media reports claim that a German warship in the Middle East mistakenly fired twice at a United States MQ-9 Reaper drone on Monday.

According to the German news outlets Der Spiegel and AFP, the Hessen, a German frigate recently deployed to the Red Sea under the European Union’s operation to protect international shipping lanes in the Red Sea from continued Houthi terrorist attacks, allegedly missed both times it fired at a U.S. MQ-9 Reaper drone on Monday. Der Spiegel reported that both missiles launched by the German frigate landed in the sea due to a “technical defect.”

The AFP reported that German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said the Hessen frigate fired at the drone since it was not able to verify the identity of the drone. Pistorius explained that the efforts to shoot down the drone “were unsuccessful.” As a result, he noted that the “reconnaissance drone” was “not hit.”

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The Daily Caller reported that the European Union’s Operation Aspides in the Red Sea is separate from the multinational operation U.S. Central Command is spearheading to deter Houthi terrorists from continuing to attack commercial and naval ships in the Middle East.

“We are aware of reports and looking into the matter,” an anonymous U.S. defense official told The Daily Caller. “CENTCOM is in close coordination with the EU and Operation Aspides to ensure safe deconfliction of airspace.”

The defense official added, “Operation Prosperity Guardian and Operation Aspides continue to operate alongside each other as we continue our mission to ensure freedom of navigation.”

In a recent post on social media, the German Bundeswehr announced that the Hessen frigate had arrived in the Middle East as part of Operation Aspides. The Daily Caller reported that the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier is also currently conducting patrols in the region, along with multiple U.S. destroyer ships, to guard against the Houthis’ continued missile and drone attacks.