This afternoon (Nov. 8), U.S. defense officials confirmed that Iranian-backed Houthi forces shot down a U.S. MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aircraft over the Red Sea off the coast of Yemen. The Reaper was reportedly on a surveillance mission over Yemen and the U.S. said it was in international airspace and over international waters when it was hit by missiles.

About an hour later, the U.S. announced it had initiated air strikes against Houthi forces in Syria.

Last month, Houthi militants fired missiles believed to be aimed at Israel, but they were destroyed by defensive missiles fired by the U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Carney stationed in the Red Sea. ABC News reported at the time it represented the first time U.S. forces took direct action to defend Israel during its current conflict with Hamas militants. ABC reported that Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Pat Ryder said in a news briefing that the destroyer had brought down four cruise missiles and 14 drones.

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