US Has Now Lost Three MQ-9 Reaper Drones Over Yemen, At Cost Of $90 Million

Authored by Dave DeCamp via AntiWar.com,

A military spokesman for Yemen’s Houthis announced on Saturday that their forces downed a US MQ-9 Reaper drone that was operating over Yemen and was carrying out a “hostile mission.”

US officials confirmed to CBS News that a US Air Force MQ-9 drone “crashed” in Yemen early Friday morning and said they’re investigating the cause. MQ-9s are estimated to cost $30 million each, and Friday’s incident marked the third time the Houthis downed one since November.

USAF image

Besides losing $90 million in MQ-9 drones, the US has also used about $1 billion in munitions in its new bombing campaign in Yemen and other operations in the Middle East that started due to Israel’s slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza.

The Houthis, officially known as Ansar Allah, also said they struck the MV Andromeda Star, a British-owned oil tanker, with missiles. The damage to the vessel was confirmed by US Central Command, which said on Friday that the “MV Andromeda Star reports minor damage but is continuing its voyage.”

The Houthis began targeting British and American commercial shipping after the US and the UK started bombing Yemen on January 12. The Yemeni group initially said it only targeted Israeli-linked shipping to protest the siege on Gaza.

Hundreds of US and British missile strikes on Yemen have done nothing to deter the Houthis, who insist the campaign will only stop once there’s a ceasefire in Gaza.

The US backed a brutal Saudi/UAE war against the Houthis from 2015-2022 that involved heavy airstrikes and a blockade, and the Houthis only became more of a capable fighting force during that time.

The war killed at least 377,000 people, with more than half dying of starvation and disease caused by the siege. A ceasefire between the Houthis and Saudis has held relatively well since April 2022, but new US sanctions are now blocking the implementation of a lasting peace deal.

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