Houthis shot down a US military drone near Yemen, officials confirm

A US military MQ-9 drone was shot down near Yemen by Iran-backed Houthi rebels, two US officials say, the second time such a shootdown has taken place in recent months during a near daily tit-for-tat between the group and US forces.

The Houthis, who have controlled most of Yemen for nearly a decade, have carried out repeated drone and missile strikes since November in the Red Sea and Bab el-Mandeb Strait against commercial and military ships. US and British forces have responded with multiple strikes on Houthi facilities but have so far failed to halt the attacks.

One of the officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said initial information showed that the US drone, made by General Atomics, was hit near Hodeida on Monday. The official said information could change and did not say if the drone was in international airspace.

The second official said the drone was shot down by a Houthi surface-to-air missile fired from near Hodeida.

The comments by the officials confirm a claim by the Houthis that they had shot down a drone near the port city.

In November, another MQ-9 was shot down by the Houthis, and two drones were brought down by the group in 2019.

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