U.S. Reaper Drone Shot Down Over Red Sea


This afternoon (Nov. 8), U.S. defense officials confirmed that Iranian-backed Houthi forces shot down a U.S. MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aircraft over the Red Sea off the coast of Yemen. The Reaper was reportedly on a surveillance mission over Yemen and the U.S. said it was in international airspace and over international waters when it was hit by missiles.

About an hour later, the U.S. announced it had initiated air strikes against Houthi forces in Syria.

Last month, Houthi militants fired missiles believed to be aimed at Israel, but they were destroyed by defensive missiles fired by the U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Carney stationed in the Red Sea. ABC News reported at the time it represented the first time U.S. forces took direct action to defend Israel during its current conflict with Hamas militants. ABC reported that Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Pat Ryder said in a news briefing that the destroyer had brought down four cruise missiles and 14 drones.

Mark Phelps
Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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  1. must update that with religious fanatics whose interpretation has nothing to do with true religion, I lived in the region 27 years….well familiar with goings on…

  2. With cheap but effective interceptor missiles in the hands of every terrorist group these days, we’re going to have to become a little more judicious in the use of $35mil a copy Reapers as well as other expensive assets like the C-130 based gunships.

    In the case of the gunships, they already seem to have decided employing the Vietnam-era loitering orbit close air support operations will not often be feasible going forward and will be removing the cannons.

  3. The ones in charge (and more importantly the ones that want to be in charge) use over bearing, over zealous religious rhetoric to justify their actions and to control the populace