(CNN) — The US is investigating after an unmanned US drone crashed near Hodeidah in Yemen early Monday morning, two US officials told CNN.

It’s unclear if the Air Force MQ-9 Reaper, an unmanned drone primarily used for intelligence collection, simply crashed or was shot down. A spokesperson for the Iran-backed Houthi forces said in a statement posted on X, formerly Twitter, that the drone was shot down “with a suitable missile.”

It wouldn’t be the first time the militant group was able to shoot down a US drone. The Houthis previously shot down a MQ-9 Reaper in November off the coast of Yemen.

The US has continued its strikes against the Houthis inside Yemen for the group’s ongoing attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea. On Saturday, the US conducted five self-defense strikes on three mobile anti-ship cruise missiles, one unmanned surface vessel, and one unmanned underwater vessel in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen, US Central Command said.

The missiles and unmanned vessels were determined to present “an imminent threat to US Navy ships and merchant vessels in the region,” CENTCOM said in a post on X.

The news of the MQ-9 crash comes as cargo ship in the Gulf of Aden was abandoned by its crew following an attack by the Houthis. The Houthi spokesperson, Yahya Saree, said on X that the attack on the Belize-flagged, UK-registered and Lebanese-operated cargo ship was a retaliation against “American-British aggression” in Yemen.

The US and UK have carried out a number of joint strikes in Yemen, vowing to continue if the Houthis do not cease their attacks.

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