U.S. Central Command has opened an investigation into reports that Houthi rebels in Yemen shot down a U.S. MQ-9 Reaper late Tuesday, according to a Wednesday news release.

The unmanned aerial vehicle was operating in “authorized air space,” Army Lt. Col. Earl Brown said in a statement, when it allegedly was attacked by the group over Dhamar, in the country’s north.

“We have been clear that Iran’s provocative actions and support to militants and proxies, like the Iranian-backed Houthis, poses a serious threat to stability in the region and our partners," he said.

The rebels claimed credit for the missile attack in a statement from their military spokesman, The Associated Press reported.

It would be the second U.S. unmanned aerial vehicle shot down by Houthis this summer, if confirmed.

In June CENTCOM confirmed another attack on an MQ-9, brought down by a surface-to-air missile.

Brown could not provide details on the U.S. mission in Yemen for which the UAVs are used, except that they are deployed in support of campaigns against local al-Qaida and ISIS factions.

“In coordination with the government of Yemen, U.S. forces continue to support ongoing counterterrorism operations against AQAP and ISIS-Y to disrupt and destroy militants’ attack-plotting efforts, networks, and freedom of maneuver within the region,” he said.

Meghann Myers is the Pentagon bureau chief at Military Times. She covers operations, policy, personnel, leadership and other issues affecting service members.

In Other News
Load More