Yemen's Houthis Claim Shooting Down another US MQ-9 Reaper Drone as Footage Shows Wreckage

In this photo provided by the Ministry of Defense (MoD), a Sea Viper missile is  launched from HMS Diamond to shoot down a missile fired by the Iranian-backed Houthis from Yemen, Wednesday, April 24, 2024. Yemen’s Houthi rebels fired a large barrage of drones and missiles targeting shipping in the Red Sea Wednesday. (LPhot Chris Sellars/MoD Crown copyright via AP)
In this photo provided by the Ministry of Defense (MoD), a Sea Viper missile is launched from HMS Diamond to shoot down a missile fired by the Iranian-backed Houthis from Yemen, Wednesday, April 24, 2024. Yemen’s Houthi rebels fired a large barrage of drones and missiles targeting shipping in the Red Sea Wednesday. (LPhot Chris Sellars/MoD Crown copyright via AP)
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Yemen's Houthis Claim Shooting Down another US MQ-9 Reaper Drone as Footage Shows Wreckage

In this photo provided by the Ministry of Defense (MoD), a Sea Viper missile is  launched from HMS Diamond to shoot down a missile fired by the Iranian-backed Houthis from Yemen, Wednesday, April 24, 2024. Yemen’s Houthi rebels fired a large barrage of drones and missiles targeting shipping in the Red Sea Wednesday. (LPhot Chris Sellars/MoD Crown copyright via AP)
In this photo provided by the Ministry of Defense (MoD), a Sea Viper missile is launched from HMS Diamond to shoot down a missile fired by the Iranian-backed Houthis from Yemen, Wednesday, April 24, 2024. Yemen’s Houthi rebels fired a large barrage of drones and missiles targeting shipping in the Red Sea Wednesday. (LPhot Chris Sellars/MoD Crown copyright via AP)

Yemen's Houthi group on Friday claimed to have shot down an American drone, hours after footage circulated online of what appeared to be the wreckage of an MQ-9 Reaper drone. Early Saturday, a vessel also came under attack in the Red Sea.
The two incidents likely represent just the latest attacks by the Houthis as they press their campaign over the Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip.
Houthi military spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Saree claimed the group shot down the Reaper on Thursday with a surface-to-air missile. He described the drone as “carrying out hostile actions" in Yemen's Marib province.
The Houthis later released footage they claimed showed the surface-to-air-missile being launched at night, along with night-vision footage of the missile hitting the drone. A man, whose voice had been digitally altered to apparently prevent identification, chanted the Houthi slogan: "God is the greatest; death to America; death to Israel; curse the Jews; victory to Islam.”
Online video showed wreckage resembling the pieces of the Reaper on the ground, as well as footage of that wreckage on fire.
The US military did not respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press over the Houthi claim. While the group made claims about attacks that turned out later not to be true, they have a history of shooting down US drones and have been armed by their main benefactor, Iran, with weapons capable of high-altitude attack.
Since the Houthis seized the country’s north and its capital, Sanaa, in 2014, the US military has previously lost at least five drones to the militant group.
Reapers, which cost around $30 million apiece, can fly at altitudes up to 50,000 feet and have an endurance of up to 24 hours before needing to land.
The drone shootdown comes as the Houthis launch attacks on shipping in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, demanding Israel ends the war in Gaza, which has killed more than 34,000 Palestinians there. The war began after Hamas-led militants attacked Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,200 people and taking some 250 others hostage.
The Houthis have launched more than 50 attacks on shipping, seized one vessel and sunk another since November, according to the US Maritime Administration.
Early Saturday, the British military's United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations center said a ship came under attack off the coast of Yemen's port city of Hodeida.
The captain “has confirmed sustaining slight damage after being struck by an unknown object on his port quarter,” the UKMTO said. “The vessel and crew are safe and continuing to its next port of call.”
The Houthis did not immediately acknowledge the attack, though it typically takes them hours to issue a claim.
Houthi attacks have dropped in recent weeks as the group has been targeted by a US-led airstrike campaign in Yemen. Shipping through the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden still remains low because of the threat, however.



More than a 100 Killed in Gaza in 24 Hours

Smoke from Israeli bombardment billows in the background near an area previously housing displaced Palestinians leaving Rafah towards Khan Younis on June 20, 2024, in the southern Gaza Strip, amid the ongoing conflict in the Palestinian territory between Israel and Hamas. (AFP)
Smoke from Israeli bombardment billows in the background near an area previously housing displaced Palestinians leaving Rafah towards Khan Younis on June 20, 2024, in the southern Gaza Strip, amid the ongoing conflict in the Palestinian territory between Israel and Hamas. (AFP)
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More than a 100 Killed in Gaza in 24 Hours

Smoke from Israeli bombardment billows in the background near an area previously housing displaced Palestinians leaving Rafah towards Khan Younis on June 20, 2024, in the southern Gaza Strip, amid the ongoing conflict in the Palestinian territory between Israel and Hamas. (AFP)
Smoke from Israeli bombardment billows in the background near an area previously housing displaced Palestinians leaving Rafah towards Khan Younis on June 20, 2024, in the southern Gaza Strip, amid the ongoing conflict in the Palestinian territory between Israel and Hamas. (AFP)

 At least 42 people were killed in Israeli attacks on districts of Gaza City in the north of the Palestinian enclave on Saturday, the director of the Hamas-run government media office said.
One Israeli strike on houses in Al-Shati, one of the Gaza Strip's eight historic refugee camps, killed 24 people, Ismail Al-Thawabta told Reuters. Another 18 Palestinians were killed in a strike on houses in the Al-Tuffah neighborhood.

The offensive has left Gaza in ruins, killed more than 37,400 people, of whom 101 were killed in the past 24 hours, according to Palestinian health authorities, and left nearly the entire population homeless and destitute.

The Israeli military released a brief statement saying: "A short while ago, army fighter jets struck two Hamas military infrastructure sites in the area of Gaza City."
It said more details would be released soon.
Hamas did not comment on the Israeli claim to have hit its military infrastructure. It said in a statement the attacks targeted the civilian population and vowed in a statement "the occupation and its Nazi leaders will pay the price for their violations against our people."
Footage obtained by Reuters showed dozens of Palestinians rushing out to search for victims amid the destroyed houses. The footage showed wrecked homes, blasted walls, and debris and dust filling the street in Shati refugee camp.

More than eight months into the war, Israel's advance is now focused on the two last areas its forces had yet to seize: Rafah on Gaza's southern edge and the area surrounding Deir al-Balah in the centre.
Residents said Israeli tanks deepened their incursion into western and northern Rafah areas in recent days. On Saturday Israeli forces bombed several areas from air and the ground, forcing many families living in areas described as humanitarian-designated zones to leave northwards.
The Israeli military said forces continued "precise, intelligence-based" targeted operations in Rafah, killing many Palestinian gunmen and dismantling military infrastructure.
On Friday, the Gaza health ministry said at least 25 Palestinians were killed in Mawasi in western Rafah and 50 wounded. Palestinians said a tank shell hit a tent housing displaced families.