Yemen's Houthis claim downing of U.S. drone in Red Sea port city

Source: Xinhua| 2018-04-19 04:56:42|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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SANAA, April 18 (Xinhua) -- Yemen's dominant Houthi movement said its air defense forces shot down a U.S.-made fighter drone on Wednesday in the Yemeni Red Sea port city of Hodeidah.

"The air defense forces of the army and popular forces shot down a U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper drone in Hodeidah," Houthis said in a statement posted on the Saba News Agency controlled by the rebels.

The Houthi movement, which has been controlling the capital Sanaa and much of the country's northern provinces including Hodeidah for nearly three years, provided no further details.

There were no immediate comments by the U.S. army, which has been operating such fighter drones over Yemen to combat the al-Qaida branch in the war-torn Arab country.

On Oct. 1, 2017, the Houthis said they fired a surface-to-air missile and shot down a U.S.-made General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper drone in the north of Sanaa.

The United States, the main supporter of the Saudi-led coalition fighting Iranian-allied Shiite Houthis in Yemen, admitted losing its fighter aircraft.

Saudi Arabia is leading a mostly Arab military coalition to fight Houthi rebels in Yemen since March 2015, in a bid to restore President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who was ousted by Houthis in September 2014.

The war has killed more than 10,000 Yemenis, mostly civilians, and displaced over 3 million others, according to humanitarian agencies.