An American MQ-9 Reaper drone was shot down by Houthi Forces (Yemen). The circumstances are still unclear but the drone was reportedly shot down by a Kub Houthi anti-aircraft system. This is not the first time that the Houthis have attempted to shoot down an American drone; two attacks were recorded in 2019 by CENTCOM.
A Reaper shot down
On November 8, the Houthis (insurgent movement in Yemen) managed to destroy an American MQ-9 Reaper drone. In a protest video, the group announces:
“Yemeni air defenses (Houthi) shot down an American MQ-9 aircraft with an adapted weapon while it was carrying out hostile actions as part of military support to (Israel) in air spacerien of Yemeni territorial waters.“
American officials (CBS News), on condition of anonymity, confirmed this loss. They announced that the drone was flying over international waters when it was shot down. Central Command (CENTCOM), responsible for American units deployed in the Middle East and South-West Asia, is reportedly analyzing information regarding this interception but has not yet communicated anything on the subject.
The Reaper was reportedly destroyed by a 2K12 Kub (SA-6 Gainful) medium-range anti-aircraft system. During their insurgency, the Houthi movement managed to capture numerous equipment belonging to the Yemeni Military Forces, including Kub systems. This is not the first loss of a Reaper drone in Yemen. On June 6, 2019, an MQ-9 was also shot down by a Houthi Kub. THE CENTCOM, had announced this loss as being the result of Iranian aid. Iran supports this insurrectional movement in order to gain influence in the region and has therefore upgraded certain Kub systems. Iran is also indirectly involved in another incident also concerning a Reaper: on June 13, 2019, a very short-range MANPADS 9K32 Strela-2 (SA-7 Grail) of Iranian origin was also fired by the Houthis against a another American MQ-9 but this time, without intercepting it, the missile not approaching more than a kilometer from the drone.