Iraq's PMF unveil high-tech Iranian M6 attack drone

Iraq's PMF unveil high-tech Iranian M6 attack drone
Iraq's Popular Mobilisation Forces have received one of Iran's most advanced attack drones in what could be a show force for the group amid political challenges.
3 min read
16 June, 2023
The M6 drone is one of Iran's most advanced combat drones [Getty]

Iraq's Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) have unveiled a new advanced Iranian attack drone to mark the 9th anniversary of their creation, according to the Iranian state-run Islamic Republic News Agency.

Iran allegedly supplied the PMF, known in Arabic as Hashd Al-Shaabi, with its Qods Mohajer-6 drone, nicknamed M6, which is a highly effective combat attack drone.

A video released by the group this week paraded the new drone's capabilities complete with slick editing and dramatic music.

The M6 is seen taking off from an airfield with the masked operator sitting in a control room. The drone then lines up and circles its target - a corrugated iron shed in a desert location.

A bomb is then delivered at the crosshairs, with a small explosion and cloud of dust erupting on the drone's visual display. 

Another shot from the ground shows the shed being blown to smithereens. The video has been widely shared on pro-Iran media.

The PMF are known to have drone capabilities. In the past, they have used civilian drones modified to hold explosive devices in attacks, but their acquisition of M6 drones could potentially take their capacity for aerial combat to the next level.

The PMF, which is a state-sponsored coalition umbrella organisation of almost solely Shia militias, was created in 2014 by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps to combat the Islamic State group (IS).

Its role in the fightback against the group was vital to ensuring Baghdad remained in government hands following the collapse of the Iraqi military in a surprise IS offensive.

Since the IS' defeat, the PMF have been accused of being an effective arm of Iranian interests in Iraq and gaining hegemony in the country. Their unpopular rise has led to calls from populist Iraqi nationalist Shia cleric and political leader, Muqtada al-Sadr, for the group to disband. 

The group has also been accused of a host of sectarian crimes against civilians, while also allegedly killing hundreds of anti-government, anti-corruption Iraqi protesters of all sects.

The PMF have also targeted US and Western interests in Iraq, such as the 2019 attack on the US Embassy in Baghdad, leading to retaliatory airstrikes against the group.

The introduction of the M6 could provide further concerns for the US, following these attacks on its military and diplomatic personnel in Iraq.

It is not yet known how many M6 drones Iran has provided the PMF.