Iraqi soldiers are attaching badminton shuttlecocks on the back of grenades and dropping them from commercial drones on the Islamic State.
— Jonathan Beale (@bealejonathan) April 1, 2017
The shuttlecock improves the accuracy of the grenade, which Iraqi soldiers can remotely drop on ISIS positions in western Mosul. Shuttlecocks are traditionally used in the game of badminton, commonly played in the U.S. during the summertime.
The shuttlecocks are placed on the back of 40mm grenades which are built to be fired from grenade launchers. Iraq borrowed the idea of using shuttlecocks from ISIS, who have used the tactic to terrorize soldiers.
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. A video of an ISIS drone strike shows a 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.
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 report by open-source intelligence analysis outfit Bellingcat notes.
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