US reports losing another $30 million drone off Yemen’s coast

Military officials say the US Air Force has lost a total of three MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles in the region since November

The US has reportedly lost another $30 million MQ-9 Reaper drone off the coast of Yemen, according to a Friday report from CBS News which cited Pentagon officials. While an investigation into the crash is still ongoing, Houthi rebels have taken responsibility for shooting down the aircraft.
Previously, the US had lost another two Reapers to the Iranian-linked militants; one was downed in November and another was destroyed in February.
Yahya Saree, a spokesman for the Iran-linked group, also claimed on Saturday that the militants had targeted the “British oil ship Andromeda Star” in the Red Sea with naval missiles and landed a direct hit.
The US military has confirmed that the Houthis had fired three anti-ship ballistic missiles in the area at multiple targets and damaged the British vessel. “MV Andromeda Star reports minor damage, but is continuing its voyage,” the US Central Command (CENTCOM) said in a post on X, adding that the maritime military coalition did not report any injuries or damage.
The Houthis, who claim to be the government of Yemen, have been attacking Israeli-affiliated ships in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden since late October in response to Israel’s offensive against Gaza. The militants have vowed to continue their campaign until the Jewish State stops its assault on the Palestinian enclave.

The group has also carried out numerous attacks on vessels linked to owners or operators in the UK or US following airstrikes by those countries on Houthi positions.
On Wednesday, the militants reported attacking the US ship Maersk Yorktown and a US warship in the Gulf of Aden, as well as the Israeli ship MSC Veracruz in the Indian Ocean. “Both operations achieved their goals successfully,” Saree said in a televised statement.
The attacks were later confirmed by American authorities, who stated that US-led coalition forces off the coast of Yemen had shot down four drones and an anti-ship missile launched by the Houthis.
Last month, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reported that trade through the Suez Canal had seen a 50% drop during January and February due to the Houthi attacks as traffic through the region has significantly dropped.