Houthi rebels in Yemen recently shot down a U.S. government-operated drone with assistance from Iran, the U.S. military said in a statement on Sunday.
Lt. Col. Earl Brown, a spokesman for the U.S. Central Command, said the altitude at which the MQ-9 drone was shot down on June 6 marked “an improvement over previous Houthi capability,” a fact that led the military to conclude the rebel group had help from Iran.
Brown also noted that on June 13, Iran separately tried to shoot down yet another U.S. drone over the Gulf of Oman in an effort to disrupt surveillance of Iran’s attack on Kokuka Courageous, one of two oil tankers attacked on Thursday.
U.S. officials have blamed Tehran for those attacks, raising fears about a potential confrontation between the United States and Iran.
But the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has continued to insist that United States does not want to have war with Iran.
While it is “unmistakable” that Iran was responsible for the attacks on two tankers last week, the United States does not want to go to war with Tehran, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday.
In an interview with “Fox News Sunday,” Pompeo said, “President Trump has done everything he can to avoid war. We don’t want war.” But he added that Washington will guarantee free navigation through vital shipping areas.