An MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle flies a combat mission over southern Afghanistan on Nov. 28, 2008. (U.S. Air Force/Lt. Col. Leslie Pratt)

WASHINGTON — Even before Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani got off a commercial airliner in Baghdad last week, his fate was already sealed.

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U.S. Air Force officer passes in front of a MQ-9 Reaper drone, one of a squadron that has arrived to step up the fight against the Taliban, at the Kandahar air base, Afghanistan January 23, 2018. (Reuters/Omar Sobhani)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. military MQ-9 drone was shot down in Yemen's Dhamar governate, southeast of the Houthi-controlled capital Sanaa, two U.S. officials told Reuters on Wednesday.

A Houthi military spokesman had earlier said that air defenses had brought down a U.S. drone.

The officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the drone was shot down late on Tuesday.

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US Air Force

A South America-based hacking crew stole an export-controlled U.S. Air Force manual for the MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle and tried to sell it for $150 — thanks to an unidentified Air Force captain who had the document sitting on his home network, stuck behind a default password.

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As the Taliban surges in its spring offensive, it is facing relentless strikes by hovering MQ-9 Reaper drones.

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Photo via Babak Taghvaee/Twitter

A U.S. MQ-9 Reaper drone aircraft was shot down over the Yemeni capital of Sanaa on Oct. 2, U.S. officials confirmed on Oct. 2.

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Air Force

Editor’s Note: This article by Oriana Pawlyk originally appeared on Military.com, the premier source of information for the military and veteran community.

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