Top Iranian General Claims Tehran Commandeered U.S. Drones

A Turkish-backed Syrian rebel fighter uses a drone at a monitoring point near the Syrian village of Qilah, in the southwestern edge of the Afrin region close to the border with Turkey, on January 22, 2018. Turkish forces began shelling the YPG enclave of Afrin from frontier Hatay province, according …
OMAR HAJ KADOUR/AFP/Getty
EDWIN MORA

The Iranian military managed to hijack several U.S. drones flying in Iraq and Syria after infiltrating data at a U.S. Army Command center, a top commander within Iran’s terror proxy known as the Islamic Republic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), claimed this week.

Troops from Iran — considered to be the world’s leading state-sponsor of terrorism by the United States — commandeered up to eight U.S.-made drones after infiltrating data at the American military command center operating the unmanned aircraft, Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the commander of the IRGC’s Aerospace Force, declared on Thursday, according to the state-run Fars News Agency (FNA).

“Seven to eight drones that had constant flights over Syria and Iraq were brought under our control and their intel was monitored by us, and we could gain their first-hand intel,” the top Iranian general said

The terror-linked IRGC disseminated video footage as “proof” of the drones’ hijacking

FNA notes:

The footage … shows IRGC’s penetration into US Army’s Command Center, one of the many proofs in support of General Hajizadeh’s remarks. The footage shows a US flying drone starts malfunctioning and makes a rough landing in a desert area [6 miles] away from its base.

The US troops avoid approaching the malfunctioning drone as they are not sure who is controling the aircraft, and hence send a manned aircraft to bomb the drone. The footage that displays the IRGC’s penetration into the US spy drone’s intel has been recorded by an IRGC drone flying above the scene.

Iran boasted that it had commandeered sensitive drone technology in the past.

FNA notes:

Iran has downed a collection of US drones, including Scan Eagle, Raptor, M-Q9 surveillance. The range of the various types of US Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) downed by Iran has now amounted to a dozen, and it has started reproducing them immediately after conducting reverse engineering. Several squadrons of these robotic warriors are already in mission.

In 2011, Iran triumphantly showed off a captured U.S. drone, considered one of America’s most advanced intelligence-gathering aircraft — the RQ-170 Sentinel.

Gen. Hajizadeh reportedly bragged in October 2013 that the Islamic Republic had “moved as much as 35 years ahead in building drone engines by reverse engineering of the US drone.”

By early last year, news reports revealed that Iran had built a stealth model drone with a design that Tehran allegedly stole from the American drone captured in 2011.

Iran’s military has deployed into neighboring Syria in support of Russian-backed dictator Bashar al-Assad. Support from Iran and Russia has allowed Assad to remain in power and capture more territory than any other warring party in Syria, including U.S.-backed Kurds.

Last week, Maj. Gen. Mohammad Baqeri, the chief of staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, called for the withdrawal of troops in Syria without the blessing of Assad, referring to the United States.

The White House recently confirmed that the U.S. would leave behind a residual force in Syria.

In the wake of U.S. President Donald Trump’s December 2018 announcement that American troops would leave Syria, John Bolton, the president’s national security adviser, indicated a small force would remain in the country to combat the Iranian threat.

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