Ukraine warns of escalating attacks by Iran-supplied drones to Russia

Kyiv, Ukraine – Multiple drone strikes hit a building in the center of the southern port city of Odessa on Sunday, the Ukrainian military said, the second day in a row that drones have been struck there.

The wave of drone attacks comes as Ukrainian officials warn of a new danger in the skies: the “kamikaze” drones that Iran provided to Russia, so named because they explode on impact, and carry a nearly 80-pound warhead. In Odessa, an Iranian-made drone attack on Saturday killed one person, officials said, while throughout the weekend drones flew over the city and anti-aircraft guns rose. Videos of frightened residents Staring at the sky circulated on social media.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Friday that seven Iranian-made drones had been shot down in recent days over cities stretching from the eastern front to the southern coast.

On Sunday, in Odessa, Ukraine’s Southern Military Command said “the enemy hit the administrative building in the city center three times,” adding that a fourth drone was shot down. The army said there were no immediate reports of casualties.

Russian military bloggers said the building was the headquarters of Ukraine’s Military Southern Command, a claim that could not be immediately verified.

As Moscow finds itself internationally isolated, and depleted of its arsenal during its months-long campaign in Ukraine, it has turned to military support for countries including Iran, which has quietly boosted its drone sales to Russia. It was not previously thought that Iran’s powerful drones had been deployed outside the Middle East.

With the growing threat posed by Iranian-made drones, Mr. Zelensky on Saturday rescinded the accreditation of Iran’s ambassador to Ukraine and drastically reduced the number of diplomatic staff at the Iranian embassy. In an interview with France’s TV5Monde, Mr. Zelensky expressed his disappointment that Israel, which has a deep insight into Iranian capabilities, had not done more to help Ukraine secure its airspace.

“I don’t know what happened to the State of Israel,” said Mr. Zelensky. “I am in shock. I don’t understand why they couldn’t send us an air defense.”

But a senior Ukrainian official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive information, said that Israeli intelligence officials are providing their Ukrainian counterparts with information on Iranian drones.

Drones are playing an increasingly important role in Ukraine’s war, both for surveillance and for launching munitions. The United States has supplied Ukraine with US-made Switchblade drones, and an attack on the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in August included a drone. Ukraine has also deployed Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 drones, which fire guided missiles.

Patrick Kingsley Contribute to the preparation of reports.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *