Two U.S.-operated unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), including at least one MQ-9 Reaper attack drone, crashed after colliding over Idlib, Syria, according to a military source.
An anonymous defense source confirmed to Military Times that the two U.S. drones were lost in a collision. However, the cause and exact circumstances of the collision, as well as the models of the UAV involved were not disclosed. There have been speculations that the drones might have been shot down by a ground weapon, possibly a man-portable air-defense system (MANPADS)
Footage from the wreckage seems to indicate that at least one of the drones was an MQ-9 Reaper.
The MQ-9 is used either for reconnaissance or ground attack. It can carry a payload of 3,750 pounds and is equipped with a combination of AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-ground missiles and GBU-12 Paveway II and GBU-38 Joint Direct Attack Munitions.
In June 2019, another U.S. drone, a Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk reconnaissance UAV, was shot down by an Iranian anti-air missile as it was flying over the Strait of Hormuz.