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Houthi rebels have downed a US military MQ-9 drone near Yemen, marking the second such incident in recent months amidst ongoing hostilities between the group and US forces.

According to one US official, the drone, a General Atomics MQ-9, was targeted near Hodeidah on Monday. However, whether it was in international airspace at the time of the attack remains unclear. Another official attributed the shootdown to a surface-to-air missile launched by the Houthis from the vicinity of Hodeida, corroborating the group’s claim of responsibility for the downing near the port city.


The Houthis, who have dominated Yemen for nearly ten years, have escalated drone and missile attacks on naval vessels in the Red Sea and Bab al-Mandab Strait since November. Despite retaliatory strikes by US and British forces on Houthi positions, these efforts have not successfully deterred further aggressions.


This incident follows a pattern of hostility, including the November shootdown of another MQ-9 by the Houthis and the downing of two drones in 2019. The conflict has also seen the Houthis claim an attack on the Rubymar cargo vessel in the Gulf of Aden, further endangering international shipping lanes and highlighting the group’s intent to disrupt global commerce in a show of support for Palestinians in the Gaza war.


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