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Iran claims that it managed to obtain control over “seven to eight drones” flying over Syria and Iraq.
Back in 2011, an Iranian cyberwarfare unit managed to intercept control over a US RQ-170 Sentinel stealth recon UAV and land it in one piece. Since then, Tehran has refused to return the drone to the US military citing its violation of Iranian airspace.
Instead, Iran has reverse engineered the American drone to create its own strike UAV, the Saeqeh (Thunderbolt). The difference is, the Saeqeh is also a bomber and not just an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platform, as reported by thenewsrep.com.
According to one analyst, the equipment used to jam the signal of the UAV to its operator was provided by Russia to Iran.
On February 21, Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh has revealed that Iran managed to obtain control over “seven to eight drones” flying over Syria and Iraq, as well as access to their “first-hand intel”, Fars News Agency reported.
The agency published video footage claiming that it had been shot by the US drones that were allegedly hacked by Iran. Iranian military officials haven’t confirmed the video’s authenticity.
The video possibly shot in 2016 in Syria shows a full-motion video (FMV) that had been captured by several UAVs. However, unlike the incident in 2011, General Hajizadeh claims they gained access to the control stations on the ground, which would be a massive security breach.
Among other things, the footage shows the crash-landing and subsequent destruction of a drone by the airstrike.
According to sputniknews.com, in the July 2016 incident in Syria, an MQ-9 Reaper drone crashed, and the US Air Force then reported that it crashed due to an operator losing control of the UAV and not due to “enemy fire”. The drone was later destroyed by a “coalition aircraft” strike.