According to U.S. Central Command, whose area of operation includes the Middle East, a U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper drone was shot down over Yemen on Sunday, confirming the authenticity of a number of videos that have surfaced on the internet in recent days.
We assess that an MQ-9 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle was shot down in western Yemen on Oct. 1, 2017,” Maj. Earl Brown, a spokesman for the command, said in an email. “The details on the specifics of the mission are not releasable for [operational security reasons] and we don’t want to get ahead of any investigation.”
Videos began surfacing on YouTube and social media platforms like Twitter on Sunday evening that appear to show Yemen’s Houthi forces firing a surface to air missile at the drone as it loiters overhead. The missile intercepts the drone, and subsequent footage shows the 36 foot long, 66 foot wide aircraft spiraling to the ground.
According to descriptions on the footage, the intercept occurred at around 11 am local time in the Jadar area on the northern outskirts of Sanaa. According to reports in both the Houthi-controlled media outlet SABA as well as Reuters, the remains of the drone were then loaded into a Toyota pickup truck.