Sputnik News

Earlier today, Yemeni Houthis reported that their air defence had downed a US multipurpose MQ-9 drone over the province of Dhamar in the central part of the country.

Washington has confirmed that Houthi rebels shot down a US drone in Yemen, according to a Department of Defence spokesperson.

“Yes, that’s accurate”, the spokesperson said when asked to confirm earlier media reports that a US MQ-9 military drone had been shot down over Yemen’s Dhamar governorate.

This comes as the movement’s spokesperson told the Al Masirah broadcaster that the rocket which downed the drone was modernised on the spot and would soon be presented at a press conference.

He warned the Saudi-led Arab coalition to think ‘a thousand times before invading Yemen’s airspace’.

Yemen, located on the southern tip of the Arabian peninsula, has been mired in strife as the government forces, led by President Abdrabuh Mansour Hadi, and the rebel Houthi movement, have been locked in an armed conflict for several years.

The Saudi-led coalition has been carrying out airstrikes against the Houthis at Hadi’s request since March 2015, with the rebels retaliating against the attacks. US drones are often used in Yemen to destroy suspected terrorists.