US drone shot down by Yemen's Houthi rebels, officials say
The Houthis said the aircraft was an MQ-9 Reaper drone flying over Yemeni airspace.LEARN MORE
This is the second time in recent weeks that a U.S. Navy warship has downed a drone believed to have originated from Yemen.
The USS Thomas Hudner shot down a drone over the Red Sea, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Defense late on Wednesday.
It marks the second time in recent weeks that a U.S. Navy warship has downed a drone believed to have originated from Yemen. The Pentagon confirmed the drone was downed on Nov. 15, and said the U.S. crew shot it down while crossing international waters. The DoD said the drone was headed in the direction of the U.S. military ship and said it was downed to "ensure" U.S. personnel safety. The Pentagon confirmed there were no U.S. casualties involved in the incident and said there was no damage to the U.S. military ship.
It was unclear who exactly launched this latest drone.
A U.S. official told the Associated Press the other drone launched last week came from Houthi rebels in Yemen.
The Houthis are a Zaydi Shiite movement that has been battling the Sunni-majority government in Yemen since 2004, according to the Wilson Center.
In October, a U.S. Navy warship intercepted missiles launched from Yemen. The U.S. believes the missiles were launched by Houthi rebels, potentially targeting Israel.
Tensions are high in the Middle East as Israel strikes Gaza in retaliation for a surprise attack on Oct. 7 that led to about 1,200 Israeli deaths. The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry has reported that more than 11,000 Palestinians have been killed since the start of this latest conflict.
U.S. officials said two ballistic missiles were fired from Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen toward the USS Mason early Monday.
U.S. bases in Iraq and Syria have been struck 66 times since Oct. 17, the day a blast at a hospital in Gaza killed hundreds.
The nine people who were on the plane were not injured, authorities said.
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