Reports have come forward that Houthi rebels from Yemen have been able to shoot down a drone incoming from the United States and hovering along the northern border of Yemen. Despite the claim made by the Houthis, it hasn’t been confirmed by the U.S. on having lost any of their drones.
The news of an AeroVironment RQ-20 Puma drone being shot down by the military’s air defense broke out on Sunday. Houthi military spokesman, Brig also released a statement. Gen. Yehia Sarie stated the drone was flying over the Harad district of Yemen’s northern Hajjah province.
Footage that confirmed that a drone had been put down was also released by the Houthi military later on. It showed a hand-launched drone with bullet holes in it, while rebel fighters were gathered around it. The camera that the drone had was the first to be struck down by fighters, and it is known that the drone was battery powered.
The Houthi military later examined the drone and found the palm tree and crossed swords logo on it, which is known to be of Saudi Arabia. The common inscription that is also seen on Saudi aircraft, ‘Good bless you,’ was also noticed on the tail of the drone.
Despite seeing the drone’s Saudi connection, it is known that they weren’t operating the drone. Saudi military was also requested to provide comments on the incident, but no word has come to light yet. It is also notable that the Saudi military has been fighting the Houthis since 2015, but it is believed that the drone hasn’t come from them.
Unaccounted drones have also been known to be used by U.S. special forces earlier and now by the U.S. military. The request was a comment on if any of their drones might be missing and were only fulfilled hours after the footage had surfaced. Many drones have already been lost by the U.S. military in Yemen, which led to the doubt of the shot down drone being theirs.
U.S. military’s Central Command has reported later on that all of their aircraft are accounted for, and none of them have been lost recently. It won’t be the first time that the U.S. military would be losing one of their drones in Yemen and denying any connection. The Houthis have claimed twice before this to having shot U.S. MQ-9 Reaper drones. These drones were suspected of carrying missiles.
Between all that has happened, the U.S. military blames Iran for providing the Houthis weapons capable of shooting down drones. Iran has denied any such claims by saying no weapons have been provided from their end. U.S. investigators still believe so and have supported their claims that they have forbidden ships from Iran that were bound for Yemen.
The U.S. has considered the rebels working in Yemen one of the most dangerous terrorist networks, which have led to them waging a constant surveillance war against them. Attacks using drones have also been launched repeatedly by the U.S., but those have been condemned constantly because of the casualties during them. Many such conflicts between the U.S. and Yemen have erupted in the past and are expected in the future.