Iran says it has carried out 700 drone attacks in Syria

Source: i24NEWS – Iran says it has carried out 700 drone attacks in Syria

Experts say it is relatively simple to convert a standard civilian drone into an effective weapon

RAYMOND ROIG (AFP/File)
In February, Israel shot down an Iranian-operated drone that it tracked entering its airspace from Syria

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have carried out 700 drone strikes against forces of the Islamic State group (IS) in Syria, its aerospace chief told conservative news agency Fars on Tuesday.

“Our bomber drones have carried out 700 military operations using smart bombs against Daesh,” said Brigadier General Amirali Hajizadeh, using the Arabic acronym for IS.

“They were used in eliminating tanks, personnel carriers, cars used for suicide attacks and 23- millimeter cannons — these were targets prized by Daesh and we significantly turned the tide of battle,” he added.

The guards most recently used military drones against IS targets in Syria on October 1, in retaliation for a deadly attack in September on a military parade in Iran’s southwest claimed by the militant group.

Seven military drones as well as six ballistic missiles struck the “IS headquarters” in the eastern Syrian town of Hajin, about 24 kilometers (15 miles) north of Albu Kamal bordering Iraq, state TV reported.

Iranian media said published images indicated the drones were locally-produced “Saegheh” craft, reverse-engineered from a US RQ-170 Sentinel captured by Iran in 2011.

Iran’s armed forces chief of staff, Major General Mohammad Bagheri, said at the time that the strikes were the first time the drones had “crossed multiple countries and reached their targets.”

(Syrian Central Military Media, via AP)
FILE – This file photo provided on Friday Oct. 20, 2017 by the government-controlled Syrian Central Military Media, shows Iran’s army chief of staff Maj. Gen. Mohammad Bagheri, left, looks into binoculars as he visits and other senior officers from the Ir 

(Syrian Central Military Media, via AP)

It was also the first time Iran had officially announced it was using combat drones outside of its borders, the conservative Tasnim news agency said.

In February, Israel shot down an Iranian-operated drone that it tracked entering its airspace from Syria.

That episode triggered a massive Israeli bombardment of Iranian military installations in Syria, fueling tensions that exploded in another round of rockets and counter-strikes later in the year.

Last month, the Israeli army admitted that it has carried out more than 200 airstrikes in Syria over the last year, many of which Israel claimed were targeting Iranian positions and weapons convoys.

Israel has vowed not to let Iran establish itself in Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon. Over the weekend, reports surfaced of an Israeli drone that blew up a spy device close to the border.

Iran is a key backer of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad and a large contingent of Revolutionary Guards operate in the country as “military advisers”.

 

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