On Sunday, a United States-built MQ-9 Reaper drone was shot down in western Yemen, the Pentagon confirmed on Monday.
The initial report came from the Houthi-controlled news outlet SABA, which stated that Houthi air defense forces destroyed the $16 million reconnaissance drone near Yemen’s capital city of Sanaa. A Reuter’s photographer said they saw the drone fall from the sky around 11am. The wreckage was reportedly carted away in a Toyota truck.
A video shared on social media shows the aircraft spiraling as it plummets into the ground in Sanaa, then locals gathering around it as it burns.
Yemen’s Al-Masirah television network shared a video that seems to show Houthi forces firing a missile that strikes the drone, as well as footage of the crowd around the grounded drone.
A Pentagon spokesperson told the American military newspaper Star and Stripesthat the Department of Defense has launched an investigation into the incident, but did not say what mission the drone was a part of when it was shot down.