FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show A Downed U.S. Drone In Yemen?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

An image shared on X claims to show a downed U.S. drone in Yemen.

Verdict: Misleading

The image has been circulating since August 2020. It likely shows a downed Saudi drone, not a U.S. drone.

Fact Check:

The Houthis, a Yemeni armed group that controls much of Yemen, claimed to have shot down a U.S. MQ-9 Reaper drone, according to the Associated Press.

Social media users have been sharing an image claiming to show the drone on fire. One social media user wrote,”Reportedly Yemeni Houthi fighters have shot down an US MQ-9 UCAV over their airspace.”

However, the image shown has been circulating since August 2020. Through a reverse image search, Check Your Fact found that at least one news outlet published the image. (RELATED: X Post Makes False Claim About UN, Trucks Entering Gaza Strip)

The news outlet Al-Thawra Net quoted a Houthi rebel saying, “air defences have shot down an American RQ-20 surveillance drone operated by the Saudi-led aggression coalition over the airspace of Haradh district.” The claim was also reported on by Turkish outlet Anadolu Ajansi.

The Houthis posted footage of the alleged destruction of the MQ-9 drone on X.

“Yemeni air defenses shoot down an American MQ9 plane while it was carrying out hostile missions as part of military support for the Israeli enemy entity 11-8-2023 AD,” the account tweeted.

A U.S. official told Check Your Fact that “we can confirm that a U.S. military MQ-9 remotely-piloted aircraft was shot down off the coast of Yemen by Houthi forces.”

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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