Speaking in an interview with Military.com, Colonel Julian Cheater, commander of the 432nd Air Expeditionary Wing, revealed the incident.

The use of unmanned drones by the US military exploded in the post-9/11 era, with the remote-controlled craft initially taking on recon and later precision ground attack missions.

Several military drones have been shot down over the past 16 years, starting with a 2002 incident in which a Iraqi MiG-25 shot down a Predator drone.

In February 2018, the Israeli Air Force shot down a drone belonging to Hezbollah.

Rather than task high-end F-35 fighters with the mission, drones like the Reaper could fight their own air-to-air battles, shooting down surveillance enemy drones with Stinger missiles.

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