Iranian 'kamikaze drones' hit Syrian opposition forces

Iranian 'kamikaze drones' hit Syrian opposition forces
The headquarters of rebel group Ahrar al-Sham in Syria’s Idlib province was targeted by five apparently Iranian drones loaded with high explosives.
2 min read
21 October, 2015
Iran has been working on a weaponised drone programme for some years [Getty]
Iran appears to be using remotely piloted aircraft packed with explosives to attack opposition targets in Syria, opposition-leaning website has reported.

"The kamikaze drones believed to be of Iranian origin were used yesterday [Monday] to strike Syrian opposition military headquarters in the Idlib countryside, causing significant material damage to the target," said Hasan Abu Hamid, an Ahrar al-Sham commander.

He said that five drone aircraft with explosive payloads struck one of the group's headquarters in Maar Shimmareen, near the town of Maaret al-Numaan in Idlib Province, killing a civilian.

According to Abu Hamid, the explosive force was equivalent to an 85mm mortar shell, but the weaponised aircraft produced more shrapnel than an artillery round.

He said that the drones were able to identify and observe their targets before attack, adding that the aircraft were small and quiet, which makes them very difficult to spot and shoot down.

In September 2013, Iranian General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan told reporters his country had produced a drone named the Raad-85 ["Thunder-85"] that was "like a mobile bomb, and is capable of destroying fixed and mobile targets", Lebanese news website NOW reported.

However, foreign experts were shocked to see the first pictures of the drone, which appeared to have been patched up with duct tape, aired on Iranian television in October of that year, The National Interest reported.