Houthis Say They Downed Another US MQ-9 Reaper Drone

The Houthis also claimed to target six ships, but only one attack has been confirmed so far

The Houthis said Wednesday that their forces downed another US MQ-9 Reaper drone over Yemen and also claimed attacks on several ships as their campaign in response to Israel’s onslaught in Gaza continues.

The Associated Press reported that it analyzed images showing a US MQ-9 on its belly in a desert and noted that the aircraft looked relatively intact. The Houthis said the drone was downed over Yemen’s Maarib province and released footage that showed an aircraft being hit with surface-to-air missiles.

A Pentagon official told AP that “the US Air Force has not lost any aircraft operating within US Central Command’s area of responsibility” and did not elaborate further. AP noted that MQ-9 Reaper drones are sometimes operated by the CIA.

The incident marks the sixth time the Houthis said they downed a US MQ-9 Reaper drone since November 2023. The drones cost about $30 million a piece, putting the cost for the US at about $180 million, on top of the over $1 billion it spent on munitions in its bombing campaign in Yemen and other operations in the region since October.

The Houthis, officially known as Ansar Allah, also claimed that its forces targeted six ships in three different seas: the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea, and the Arabian Sea. The only attack that was confirmed was a missile attack on the Laax, a Greek-owned bulk carrier.

While the Houthis say they’re targeting Israeli-linked shipping, the Laax’s security company, LSS-SAPU, said the vessel had no connection to Israel, and shipping data showed its destination was Iran. LSS-SAPU said the ship and crew were safe and headed for their destination.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.