Iranian-backed terrorists in Yemen shot down a U.S. military drone over international waters on Wednesday, which comes after U.S. forces throughout the region have been repeatedly attacked by Iran’s terrorist proxies.
A U.S. defense official confirmed the incident to CNN and said that U.S. Central Command was investigating.
The Houthis, an Iranian-backed terrorist group in Yemen that the Biden administration delisted as a terror group back in 2021, claimed credit for downing the $56.5 million MQ-9 Reaper drone over the Red Sea.
Iran shot down a U.S. drone back in June of 2019 with a surface-to-air missile and then-President Donald Trump initially approved a retaliatory strike against Iran before backing off his decision.
The U.S. launched airstrikes later in the day but they were against Iranian-backed terrorists in Syria, not the Houthis in Yemen.
The strikes came after Iran and its terrorist proxy groups have launched 22 attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq and another 18 attacks against U.S. forces in Syria, leading to 46 U.S. soldiers being injured, including 25 who have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said in a statement that the “self-defense” strikes were on “a facility in eastern Syria used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and affiliated groups.”
“This strike was conducted by two U.S. F-15s against a weapons storage facility,” he said. “This precision self-defense strike is a response to a series of attacks against U.S. personnel in Iraq and Syria by IRGC-Quds Force affiliates.”
This was the second such strike U.S. forces have launched against Iranian forces in Syria over the last couple of weeks. The administration has not released any footage of the strikes.
Austin added that the U.S. will continue to conduct counter-ISIS missions in Iraq and Syria.
This report has been updated to include additional information.