New chal­lenges in Syria as mil­i­tants weaponize drones

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - NATION + WORLD -

Mil­i­tant groups like Hezbol­lah and the Is­lamic State group have learned how to weaponize sur­veil­lance drones and use them against each other and coali­tion forces, adding a new twist to the wars in Iraq and Syria, the Pen­tagon said Wednes­day.

Air Force Col. John Dor­rian, the spokesman for the U.S.-led mil­i­tary coali­tion in Iraq, said the U.S. has seen mil­i­tants use a va­ri­ety of im­pro­vised drones and mod­i­fied drones, adding, “there’s noth­ing very high tech about them.”

“They can just buy them as any­body else would,” he told re­porters. “Some of those are avail­able on Ama­zon.”

A video be­long­ing to an al-Qaida 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 a Sunni mil­i­tant group.

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