When Houthi fighters blasted an American drone out of the sky in Yemen last month, it raised questions about what exactly the U.S. Reaper was doing there. U.S. officials say the drone was flying over Yemen as part of a terrorist-hunting mission. But that’s not the only thing America’s eyes in Yemen’s skies are up to. Over the past years, American drones have taken on more missions in the country.
U.S. officials tell The Daily Beast that American drones have been used to help warn Saudi Arabia about Houthi ballistic missile and drone launches at civilian targets in the kingdom; to monitor Houthi attacks on shipping in the Red Sea; and to support United Arab Emirates special operations forces pursuing al Qaeda targets. The U.S. has also offered to carry out drone flights to monitor a U.N.-backed ceasefire around Yemen’s Hodeida province.
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