Investigators found Western parts in Iranian-made suicide drones: report

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  • Russian forces recently used Iranian-made suicide drones to terrorize Ukrainian cities.
  • Investigators inspecting the downed drones found US and European parts inside, The Wall Street Journal reported.
  • Russia and Iran have denied the use of such weapons, despite evidence from the West.

The Iranian-made drones that Russian forces are using to wage war in Ukraine and terrorize its civilians consist of parts made in the United States, Europe and Asia, Ukrainian investigators have found.

Ukrainian investigators managed to inspect drones shot down by the Kyiv military, and inside they found pieces of Western-made equipment that direct, guide and power the killer drones, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. , citing an analysis.

It’s not immediately clear where exactly the parts came from, although investigators noted that some parts could be traced to American companies, at least one of which told the Journal they were investigating reports that their components would be found in these weapons.

Weapons experts have told the Wall Street Journal that Iran has been able to reverse engineer and extract parts from downed and captured drones in countries including the United States and Israel. It is not known if this explains the presence of Western components in the drones.

Iranian-made drones used by Russian forces include the Shahed-136, Shahed-129, Shahed-191 and Qods Mohajer-6.

The Shahed-136 drone has emerged in recent weeks as the weapon of choice for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s troops, who have used the systems to attack and terrorize Ukrainian towns far from the frontlines of the war as they continue to suffer setbacks on the battlefield.

This undated photograph released by the Ukrainian Army's Strategic Communications Directorate shows the wreckage of what Kyiv described as an Iranian Shahed drone shot down near Kupiansk, Ukraine.

This undated photograph released by the Ukrainian Army’s Strategic Communications Directorate shows the wreckage of what Kyiv described as an Iranian Shahed drone shot down near Kupiansk, Ukraine.

Ukrainian Army Strategic Communications Directorate via AP



Although it can fly like a normal unmanned aerial vehicle, the Shahed-136 is actually a long-range munition, meaning it can linger around an area before engaging a target. Small systems are packed with explosives and can be aimed at a specific target, before flying into them and exploding on impact. For this reason, people often refer to weapons as suicide or kamikaze drones.

Russia and Iran have denied the use of Shahed-136 drones in Ukraine, despite accusations and evidence from Western governments and their intelligence agencies. Earlier in October, US officials confirmed that Russian officials had previously visited Iran to learn how to use explosive suicide drones, and more recently Iranian military personnel traveled to the occupied Crimean Peninsula to help Russian troops to operate the weapons.

“Today I received a call from Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, in which I called on Iran to immediately stop the flow of weapons to Russia used to kill civilians and destroy critical infrastructure in Ukraine,” said Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. said Friday.

Speaking next to a downed Shahed-136 drone, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Friday his forces had managed to neutralize 23 out of 30 drones fired by Russian forces over the past two days. In a separate photo posted on the Ukrainian presidential website, the Shahed-136 appeared to have damage to both wings.

“Together we will definitely clip the wings of all metal monsters, no matter how many they are flying from, heading for Ukraine,” Zelenskyy said. “Enemy planes will fall. Enemy helicopters will fall. Shaheds will fall. Only the Ukrainian people will not fall!”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stands next to an Iranian-made Shahed-136 drone.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stands next to an Iranian-made Shahed-136 drone.

Screenshot/Official website of the President of Ukraine



To help Ukraine counter explosive suicide drones, as well as other unmanned aerial vehicles, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced last week that the military alliance would send “hundreds” of jammers signals in this Eastern European country.

Stoltenberg’s announcement of NATO aid came after the United States and some of its allies said they were preparing to supply Ukraine with much-needed air defense systems.

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