A US military MQ-9 drone has been shot down in Yemen’s Dhamar governate, south-east of the Houthi-controlled capital Sana’a, two US officials have said.
A Houthi military spokesman had earlier said that air defences had brought down a US drone.
The officials, speaking on Wednesday on condition of anonymity, said the drone was shot down late on Tuesday.
It is not the first time a US drone has been shot down in Yemen. In June, the US military said Houthi rebels had brought down a US government-operated drone with assistance from Iran.
US forces have occasionally launched drone and air strikes against the Yemen branch of al-Qaida, known as al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.
One of the officials said it appeared the drone had been shot down by a surface-to-air missile operated by the Iran-aligned Houthi group. The other official cautioned that it was too early to tell who was responsible for the incident.
The downing of the drone comes amid rising tensions between Iran and the US after Donald Trump’s administration withdrew last year from an international deal to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions and imposed sanctions.