ISIS has figured out how to weaponize the drones its members have been using for surveillance, and so has Hezbollah and other terror groups – and they’re starting to send them into battle against each other, particularly in Syria.
From the Associated Press:
“A video belonging to an AL Qaeda offshoot, Jund al-Aqsa, purportedly shows a drone landing on Syrian military barracks. In another video , small explosives purportedly dropped by the Iran-backed Shiite militant group Hezbollah target the Sunni militant group Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, formerly known as the Nusra Front.
“A U.S. military official, who spoke anonymously because he wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly, said the U.S. military is aware of the development. Commanders have warned troops to take cover if they see what they might have once dismissed as a surveillance drone, he said.
“[Chris Woods] The head of the Airwars project, which tracks the international air war in Iraq, Syria and Libya, said the weaponized drones are clumsy but will scare people.”
And Woods didn’t pull punches about the possible ramifications of such technology in the hands of terrorists.
“There are a million ways you can weaponize drones — fire rockets, strap things in and crash them,” Chris Woods said, then adding, “This is the stuff everyone has been terrified about for years, and now it’s a reality.”
The videos haven’t been authenticated by independent U.S. military sources. But another U.S. military official, also anonymous, who spoke to the AP said by all appearances, the videos seemed genuine.
“‘It’s not going to change the overall balance of power in the region, but it matters by the very fact that these are things that are normally beyond the capability of insurgents or terrorists groups,’ said Peter Singer, author of the book “Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century,” and a senior fellow at the New America Foundation. …
“There is no question the militant groups are outmatched in the sky. But as cells linked to the Islamic State group pop up across Europe and the United States, the real concern is the potential impact these experimental small, flying bombs could have if launched over crowded cities.
“‘You already see things happening in Ukraine, gangs in Mexico are using drones, and in Ireland, gangs there are using surveillance,’ said Wim Zwijnenburg, a security and disarmament policy adviser at Netherlands-based PAX for Peace. ‘Add a small amount of explosives to a small drone, and even the psychological factor is pretty significant.’”