Thursday, 9 September 2021

Iranian Loitering Munitions Used Against Militants In Iraqi Kurdistan #Shorts

By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
A video released on the 9th of September 2021 shows an Iranian loitering munition impacting a target near Choman, Erbil Governorate, Iraqi Kurdistan, as part of an ongoing offensive by Iran in the region. The military offensive comes two days after Mohammad Pakpour, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards' Ground Forces, warned the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) against allowing groups hostile to Iran to use its territory to carry out attacks against Iran. [1] General Pakpour also threatened to attack the bases of these groups and advised civilians to stay away from their bases. Iran almost immediately made good on the threat, using artillery and loitering munitions to target these same bases just two days later. [2]
The use of loitering munitions in this attack once again highlights the increasing proliferation of 'suicide drones' in the region. Iran previously exported loitering munitions to Hizbullah in Lebanon, which used them during the 2006 Lebanon War, and Houthi rebels in Yemen, which have employed them against targets in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. [3] More recently, it has also supplied Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) with loitering munitions and Iran itself used them in the attack on an Israeli-owned cargo vessel in August 2021. [4] Their most notable use came during the 2019 Abqaiq–Khurais attack, during which at least 19 drones launched out of Iran were used to attack Saudi Aramco oil processing facilities in eastern Saudi Arabia.

[1] Iraqi Kurdistan’s inaction over Kurdish militants angers Iran
[4] Israel-linked ship hit in drone attack docks in UAE