According to a U.S. military official, the $32 million MQ-9 reaper drone was purportedly in international waters off the coast of Yemen, conducting a surveillance mission when the drone was intercepted by missiles fired from the Yemeni coast and subsequently shot down. The U.S. military has stated that the U.S. Central Command will closely investigate the shootdown in the coming weeks.
Shortly after the drone was shot down, the U.S. Air Force began to strike Houthi military targets in Syria. It should be noted that Iran primarily supports Houthi militant groups. This is not the first time militant forces have attacked the U.S. military. Still, since the re-kindling of the Israel-Hamas conflict, attacks from these militant groups on the U.S. military have been steadily rising. In response to this, the U.S. Air Force, using one F-15 and two F-16 fighter jets, retaliated against militant groups in Syria by using precision-guided missiles to take out a weapons and ammunition storage facility in Abu Kamal.