SYRIA

Iraq Forces Ask For Help Fighting ISIS’ Bomb-Dropping Drones

The Islamic State is using a homemade weapon in its fight against the US-supported Iraqi coalition in Mosul

SYRIA
Iraqis after returning to their homes in Mosul, Iraq — REUTERS
Feb 05, 2017 at 10:27 AM ET

Images from the official media channel of the Islamic State show the terror group using a new weapon on the battlefield: bomb-dropping drones.

Iraqi special forces have asked the United States for anti-drone weapons to protect their troops in the battle against ISIS in the city of Mosul, according to a recent report by the Stars and Stripes. Fifteen people, including Iraqi soldiers, civilians, and a journalist, have reportedly been injured in recent months by explosives dropped from homemade drones flown overhead. The site quoted the U.S. coalition leading the fight against ISIS, saying that a system called DroneDefender and additional advanced anti-drone systems have already been sent to Iraq.

A few weeks ago, the terror group released a video, showing its militants using attack drones to carry and drop bombs on Iraqi troops fighting in Mosul, but it was unclear to what extent the the claims were propaganda. Over the weekend, the terror group’s media released nine official reports claiming the use of explosives-equipped unmanned aerial vehicles against enemies around Mosul and Salah e-Din in northern Iraq and Dir e-Zour in eastern Syria. A few of the reports were accompanied by drone footage, appearing to show the bombs falling and hitting their targets on the ground.

The group’s supporters on the platform Telegram and other Jihadi forums celebrated the new reports. A thread on one ISIS forum called on followers to suggest a name for the new drone-weapons. Many suggested to name them after Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, ISIS’ spokesman who was killed in American airstrike last August.

The Iraqi military, supported by a US-led coalition, has been fighting to retake the city of Mosul for several months, and is making grueling progress through the ISIS stronghold. But, the fight is far from over; Islamic State fighters are embedded deep in the city of around 750,000 people, which the terror group has held since 2014.