Islamic State arms toy drones with Grenades to bomb Iraqi troops
RAF pilots hunt down the devices amid fears the weapons could be used against British troops
Mosul : Drones armed with grenades are being used by Islamic State to blast Iraqi forces and target refugees trying to flee Mosul.
RAF pilots have been tasked with hunting down the weaponized devices amid fears they could also be used to find UK troops in the war-ravaged nation.
Typhoon warplanes blitzed a base packed full of the drones and their barbaric operators using 500lb laser-guided bombs last week.
The use of the small armed remotely piloted aerial vehicles marks a change of tactics by the militant group which is struggling to keep control of Mosul.
The improved weapons consists of a plastic tube attached to a consumer camera drone to carry explosives.
Former US special forces officer, Mitch Utterback, who discovered the devices, told the Mail: ‘Iraqi forces are very, very concerned about these.
‘My concern is them being used to target specific, high-ranking officers who are leading the ground combat against Islamic State.’
He said the devices’ electronics had been modified to release grenades.
The drones can drop a single 40mm rifle grenade – which could kill or injure within a five meter radius, he added.
‘With the precision guidance of the camera, they can and are used to directly target troops in the open’ he added.
An RAF source said: ‘These devices are mainly being used for surveillance purposes.
‘They could potentially find western forces on the ground that are helping local troops on their way into Mosul.’
The drones are difficult to shoot down, but new weapons are being developed to blast them out of the skies.
Devices are being developed to block the radio signals they require to be controlled.
The battle for Mosul – the group’s last remaining stronghold in Iraq – has been raging for weeks.
It could take months until Iraqi forces regain control of the city, in which women and children are trapped.
An MoD spokesman said: ‘During the battle for Mosul, small armed remotely piloted aerial vehicles with grenades have been used by Daesh… to harass Iraqi troops.’
They said there were ‘reports suggesting they have also been used to target civilian refugees’.
Two million people have been freed from IS tyranny in the last year as UK and coalition forces made major progress in kicking the group out.
The RAF carried out almost 1,200 strikes through 2016, at the most intense sustained pace in 25 years and second to the US in number of missions flown.
Earlier in the week, Sir Michael said: ‘In a controlled and precise manner the RAF are taking out Daesh and working hard to minimise casualties in a very difficult dense urban environment.
‘Working with Allies we will keep momentum, push Daesh out of Mosul, encircle Raqqa and eventually end Daesh’s reign of terror.’
Source : Daily Mail