Yemeni forces, allies shoot down US MQ-9 Reaper drone in Ma’rib
…from PressTV, Tehran
[ Editor’s Note: The US MQ-9 Reaper drone follows a long line of other US hi-tech weapons being tested in little country wars to gain operational experience to uncover and fix flaws and discover the best tactical situations in which to use them.
Notice how credit for the shoot down includes the Yemeni air defences and ‘its allies’. Iran is usually accused of providing such defense support, but the Saudi coalition has not published anything specific about other contributors that I can remember.
Notice that the Yemen missile appears to be a kinetic energy one, not exploding on contact but slicing through the drone, meaning the missile had sophisticated targeting software. Color me surprised.
Are key Iranian parts for these intercept missions being smuggled in, or some combination of design blueprints, where Yemen can construct them inside its former Soviet Cold War underground bases?
We have not had a breakout story from an insider to confirm. To the surprise of those who never felt that Yemen could hold out this long, which includes me, it has prevailed. When peace finally comes, it is going to be one hell of a story as to how they did it.
One thing we do know is that we have seen the carnage year after year, and also the Western backers of the Saudis showing no remorse over the punishment they have inflicted.
The only real cost to the Saudis that I have seen is that Yemen has shown it can rain missiles down on key Saudi targets, despite all of its hi-tech Western air defenses, revealing their vulnerability.
If little Yemen can dish this level of resistance out to the Saudis, imagine what the Iranians could do in a major shooting war.
Yemen has released footage of the moment when Yemeni army forces, supported by allied fighters from Popular Committees, intercept and target a sophisticated US-made MQ-9 Reaper drone as it is flying over the country’s central province of Ma’rib.
The media bureau of Yemen’s popular Houthi Ansarullah movement released on Wednesday the video of Yemeni air defense forces and their allies shooting down the unmanned aerial vehicle with a surface-to-air missile over the Sirwah district the previous day.
Over the past few weeks, Ma’rib has been the scene of large-scale operations by Yemeni troops and allied Popular Committees fighters, who are pushing against Saudi-sponsored militants loyal to Yemen’s former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.
Sultan al-Sama’i, a member of Yemen’s Supreme Political Council, said on Saturday that Yemeni army troops and Popular Committees fighters will liberate the neighboring provinces of Shabwah and Hadhramaut after establishing full control over Ma’rib.
The US military occasionally launches drone and air strikes against purported positions of militants affiliated with Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) terror group.
The turboprop-powered, multi-mission MQ-9 Reaper armed drone reportedly can fly for more than 27 hours between refueling at speeds to 240 knots at altitudes to 50,000 feet.
The medium-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle can also carry payloads as heavy as 3,850 pounds, including 3,000 pounds of external stores like Hellfire missiles.
The MQ-9 Reaper can carry as many as four 4 Hellfire missiles, two GBU-12 Paveway II laser-guided bombs, or two 500-pound GBU-38 Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs).