Houthis claim to have shot down US-made reconnaissance drone

It happened in the Sirwah region of northern Marib province, where fierce fighting between insurgents and troops of Yemen’s internationally recognised government continues

Houthis claim to have shot down US-made reconnaissance drone

Yemen’s Ansar Allah (Houthis) rebel movement said it had managed to shoot down a US-made ScanEagle reconnaissance drone. The rebel-controlled Almasirah TV channel reported this on Sunday.

“Our air defence forces managed to shoot down a US-made ScanEagle reconnaissance drone with a surface-to-air missile”, –  it quoted a statement by Houthis military spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Saria, who did not specify the identity of the vehicle. It happened in the Sirwah region of northern Marib province, where fierce fighting between insurgents and troops of the internationally recognised Yemeni government continues.

For the past months the Houthis have been seeking control of Marib province, whose capital of the same name is the headquarters of the Yemeni government army’s supreme command. The Saudi Arabia-led coalition is assisting the Yemeni army by launching air strikes against the Houthis.

Since August 2014, a confrontation between government forces and Hussite militias has been ongoing in Yemen. It reached its most active phase when the Saudi-led coalition invaded the country in March 2015. More than five years of conflict have led to the largest humanitarian crisis in the world. According to the UN, more than 24 million Yemenis – about 80 per cent of the population – are in need of humanitarian assistance, while the number of internally displaced persons exceeds 3 million.

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