Iraqi Federal Police are now utilizing armed commercial drones against the Islamic State in the battle for Mosul, copying a tactic pioneered by the terrorist group.
Belllingcat, an open source intelligence analysis firm, noted Thursday that the types of munitions used on armed drones seen in Mosul are “almost certainly” being used by the Iraqi Federal Police.
ISIS announced the formation of a new drone warfare unit in January, whose sole purpose is to inflict “a new source of horror for the apostates.” The terrorist group claims the new unit killed nearly 40 Iraqi soldiers in just one week.
“The Mosul offensive has seen this kind of drone warfare step up a level, with Islamic State (IS) employing drones armed with an assortment of different munitions, sometimes in conjunction with other assets, to deadly effect,” an earlier report by Bellingcat notes.
Drones used by both sides highlights a new possible element of warfare. Commercial drones armed with light munitions can wreak havoc, as shown in a recent ISIS drone strike video. The video shows cheaply improvised explosive devices crafted out of PVC pipe and 40-mm grenades dropped on top of an Iraqi Security Force Humvee, causing extensive damage.
Iraqi Security Forces have had some difficulty breaking ISIS’s defensive lines in the battle for Mosul, and may be using armed drones to surveil, as well as inflict damage on the enemy.
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