With either expert marksmanship or great luck, an Iraqi soldier apparently shot down an Islamic State drone this past week.
The terror group’s drone fleet, if you will, contains nothing even remotely so sophisticated — or lethal — as an Air Force Predator. Its gear is comparatively cheap, consisting of either homemade electronics or products readily available on the consumer market. But the militants’ growing use of drones highlights an important battlefield development in the conflict in Iraq and Syria. The enemy is now regularly employing this technology for everything from propaganda videos and surveillance to indirect fire spotting and, possibly, weapons delivery.
Photos released by the Iraqi Ministry of Defence show Sgt. Hussain Musa Kathum proudly displaying a damaged DJI Phantom 3 quadrotor he reportedly brought down this month in the Al-Jirashi area in northern Anbar province. “The brave warrior … was able to hit a spying plane belonging to the gangs of ISIS,” the ministry claimed in a Facebook post. “The plane was trying to spy on our army by taking pictures of the area.” […]