The Pentagon is investigating the reason for a crash of an American army surveillance drone off the coast of Yemen on Monday morning, two U.S. officers mentioned.

The officers, talking on the situation of anonymity to debate operational issues, confirmed that the drone, an MQ-9 Reaper, fell out of the sky. Iranian-backed Houthi militants mentioned on Monday that they’d downed the drone close to the port metropolis of Al Hudaydah, in western Yemen.

“Yemeni air defenses have been in a position to shoot down an American airplane (MQ-9) with an appropriate missile whereas it was finishing up hostile missions in opposition to our nation on behalf of the Zionist entity,” a Houthi army spokesman, Yahya Sarea, mentioned in an announcement.

“Yemeni armed forces won’t hesitate to take extra army measures and perform extra qualitative operations in opposition to all hostile targets in protection of beloved Yemen,” the assertion mentioned.

If the Houthis’ claims are confirmed, it will have been the second time the group has shot down an American drone for the reason that Oct. 7 Hamas assault on Israel, and Israel’s response, plunged the area into disaster.

The downing of a Reaper drone, the mainstay of the American army’s aerial surveillance fleet, is one other escalation of violence between the US and Iran-backed teams in Yemen, Iraq and Syria. The episodes have intensified over the previous two months, underscoring the danger that the battle between Israel and Hamas might spiral right into a wider struggle.

America struck five Houthi military targets, together with an undersea drone, in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen on Saturday, based on an announcement from the army’s Central Command.

The usage of the underwater drone is believed to have been the primary time that the Houthis have employed such a weapon since they started their marketing campaign in opposition to ships within the Crimson Sea and the Gulf of Aden on Oct. 23, the assertion mentioned.

The Houthis say the assaults are in solidarity with Palestinians who’ve been residing below Israel’s retaliatory assaults in Gaza.

The stepped-up assaults have prompted an American-led worldwide maritime response, together with a collection of strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen.

America has accused Iran of supplying the Houthis. However American officers additionally acknowledge that Tehran doesn’t have direct management over the Houthis or quite a few different Iran-backed militias in Iraq and Syria.

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