Houthis say they downed US Reaper drone, posts footage with evidence

AP — Yemen’s Houthi rebels claim to shoot down another of the US military’s MQ-9 Reaper drones, airing footage of parts that corresponded to known pieces of the unmanned aircraft.

The Houthis say they shot down the Predator with a surface-to-air missile, part of a renewed series of assaults this week by the rebels after a relative lull in their pressure campaign over the Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip.

Officials at the Pentagon, US Central Command and the US Air Force did not immediately return requests for comment Saturday over the Houthi footage. However, CBS News quotes an anonymous US military official acknowledging a drone had crashed in Yemen.

The Houthis describe the downing as happening Thursday over their stronghold in the country’s Saada province.

Footage released by the Houthis includes what they describe as the missile launch targeting the drone, with a man off-camera reciting the Houthis’ slogan after it was hit: “God is the greatest; death to America; death to Israel; curse the Jews; victory to Islam.”

The footage includes several close-ups of parts of the drone including the logo of General Atomics, which manufactures the drone, and serial numbers corresponding with known parts made by the company.

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