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Iran attacking Syria rebels
with explosive drones

An Ahrar al-Sham commander said that five UAVs exploded into a rebel base.

Iran drone. (image via Jamejamonline.ir)

BEIRUT – Iran has attacked rebels in northwest Syria with explosive-laden unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that fly into their targets, according to rebels.

 

A commander in the Islamist Ahrar al-Sham group told Al-Souria Net that “kamikaze drones thought to be [of] Iranian [origin] were used [on Monday to strike] Syrian opposition military bases in rural Idlib, causing extensive material damage at the targeted location.”

 

“Five aircrafts loaded with explosives targeted an Ahrar al-Sham base in the town of Ma'ar Shimmareen [near] Idlib province’s Ma’aret Nuaman,” Hassan Abu Hamid claimed.

 

“This led to the death of a civilian who was close to the targeted area,” the rebel commander added.

 

“The destructive force of the plane was equal to the destructive force of an 82 mm mortar round, but had a higher fragmentation rate,” he explained.

 

Abu Hamid noted that the UAVs usually record footage of the target area and strike when it has been identified.

 

“It is difficult to see [these] planes because their low noise and small size, which makes the chances of shooting them [down] very slim.”

 

Iran’s burgeoning UAV production program has given focus to developing “suicide drones” capable of destroying targets.

 

In September 2013, Iranian army ground commander chief General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan told reporters his country had produced a drone called the Raad-85 that is “like a mobile bomb, and is capable of destroying fixed and mobile targets.”

 

A little over a year later, Iran’s army deployed the “suicide drone” for the first time during an exercise near the Strait of Hormuz, testing them against naval targets.

 

US military intelligence believes that Iran has placed an emphasis in developing surveillance and explosive-laden attack drones, according to The Washington Times.

 

“Perhaps no aspect of Iran's overt military program has seen as much development over the past decade as Iranian unmanned aerial vehicles,” the newspaper cited a US Army assessment as saying. 

Iran has been developing explosive attack drones. (image via Jamejamonline.ir)

Five aircrafts loaded with explosives targeted an Ahrar al-Sham base in the town of Ma'ar Shimmareen [near] Idlib province’s Ma’aret Nuaman.