ISIS has reportedly begun making use of drones “œthe size of a model airplane“ as explosive devices to target military forces.
While ISIS has reportedly made use of consumer drones for some time as reconnaissance and surveillance operations, a new tactic has resulted in the first successful attack on Kurdish military forces by a drone strapped with explosives.
According to The New York Times, a small consumer drone packed with explosives detonated when it was shot down by Kurdish forces in Iraq. The resulting explosion killed two members of the Kurdish armed forces.
A Kurdish military official, speaking to the Times, cited that within the drone there was “a very small amount of explosives in it, but it was enough to go off and kill them.“
According to the Ties, both the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Defense Intelligence Agency have completed classified assessments about ISIS’ drone use. While the United States military make use of drones the size of passenger planes to facilitate targeted strikes, ISIS is conversely using commercial drones which are crudely equipped with explosive devices – in essence making them piloted improvised explosive devices.
Officials have cited that drones bearing similar explosions have been used in Iraq in three separate incidents so far, while the latest attack is the first to result in a tragic loss of life.
A report issued by West Point cites that “the number and sophistication of drones used is also likely to enhance the scope and seriousness of the threat” – something that the Pentagon is undoubtedly concerned about as hobby drones both become able to carry larger payloads and increase their flight time thanks to larger batteries.
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Source: The New York Times