Tehran deploys trainers to Crimea to aid Russian troops with Iranian-made drones
⚡️New York Times: Iran sends drone trainers to Crimea to help Russia's war effort.— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) October 18, 2022
Current and former U.S. officials who spoke to the New York Times on the condition of anonymity said that Iran has sent trainers to Crimea to help Russian troops overcome problems with the drones.
This comes after Ukraine accused Russian troops of using Iranian-made drones to attack cities and towns, including the capital Kyiv, last week.
They have largely been used to attack civilian targets and energy infrastructure, and have left thousands of Ukrainians without power.
The arrival of the personnel suggests that Iran is playing an increasingly important role in the war, and signals a deepening relationship between Moscow and Tehran at a time when both governments are under pressure.
The New Arab has contacted the Iranian mission to the UN for comment.
Iran’s first batch of drones sent to Russia were rendered ineffective due to mistakes made by Russian operators, according to the New York Times.
Russia had initially sent its personnel to Iran to receive training, but Iran later decided to send its trainers to Crimea as the problems continued.
The Iranian trainers remain far from the front lines, and it is not clear how many of them have been sent or if they are operating the drones themselves, according to the US daily.
Earlier on Tuesday, a spokesperson for Iran’s foreign ministry had rejected claims that Tehran had sent any weapons, including drones, to Russia to be used in its invasion of Ukraine.