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  • General view of Aden, Yemen, August 12, 2019.

    General view of Aden, Yemen, August 12, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 20 August 2019 (10 hours 26 minutes ago)

Last June, the U.S. military accused Houthi rebels in Yemen of shooting down a U.S. government-operated drone with assistance from Iran.

Yemen’s Houthi movement’s air defences downed Wednesday a U.S. drone MQ-9 in Dhamar governorate, southeast of the Houthi-controlled capital Sanaa, the group’s Al-Masirah TV quoted the group’s military spokesman as saying.

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“We are aware of reporting that a US MQ-9 was shot down over Yemen. We do not have any further information to provide at this time,” the U.S. military’s Central Command said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Houthis, who control the Yemeni capital Sanaa and most of its populous areas, have stepped up attacks against targets in Saudi Arabia in recent months. In response, a Saudi-led coalition fighting against the Houthis has targeted military sites belonging to the group, especially around Sanaa.

The attacks are complicating U.N.-led peace efforts.

The Western-backed Sunni Muslim coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE intervened in Yemen in 2015 to try to restore a Yemeni government ousted from power by the Houthis.

The war has killed tens of thousands of people and pushed millions to the brink of famine and forced them to flee the country.

In the past week, violence has flared in the southern port city of Aden between government forces based there and southern separatists who had been fighting alongside them against the Houthis.

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