Iranian UAV Shot Down Over Iraq
Iraq claims that its air-defense gunners shot down an Iranian unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) last month, according to the Iraqi News Agency. The UAV, believed to be flying a reconnaissance mission, was reportedly shot down over Kankin, Iraq, near the country’s border with Iran. It is believed that the Iranian UAV may have been looking for Iranian resistance forces in that part of Iraq, a theory bolstered by the fact Iran launched attacks against two bases, located in Iraqi territory, of the Mujahadeen Khalq, an Iranian opposition group.
Although no information was released regarding the type of UAV shot down, Iran is understood to be developing UAVs for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR). In fact, Iran recently announced the production of two new variants of its indigenously developed Ababil UAV, one of which, dubbed Ababil-S, was designed specifically for ISR operations.
Initial reports indicated that the UAV that Iraq shot down may have been a US platform, but Defense Department officials contacted by JED claimed that the US is not employing UAVs in either Operation Northern Watch or Southern Watch, the two operations aimed at enforcing the no-fly zones over Iraq. — B. Rivers