US Military Shoots Down Iranian Object in Sky

US Military Shoots Down Iranian Object in Sky

( – Days after the US military shot down a Chinese spy balloon and a series of unidentified objects over the US, it’s now destroyed an Iranian-made drone over a US base in Syria. A spokesman said the drone was on a reconnaissance mission.

On February 14, a spokesman for US Central Command (CENTCOM), the headquarters that commands all US forces in the Middle East, said an Iranian-made drone had been spotted reconnoitering Mission Support Site Conoco, a patrol base located inside a huge ConocoPhillips natural gas facility near Al Tabiyeh in northeast Syria. US troops are occupying the facility to protect it against terrorist attacks, as well as using it as a base to deter insurgents in the surrounding area.

The compound is a key strategic target, and CENTCOM doesn’t want Iranian spy platforms sniffing around it — so when this one appeared, around 2:30 p.m. local time on Tuesday, troops in the patrol base shot it down.

Although Iran’s defense industry isn’t capable of making advanced weapons, it’s proven to be ingenious at producing cheap but capable drones. These are widely used in the Middle East, and Iran has even started supplying them to Russia as Vladimir Putin’s stocks of weapons run low. Many recent attacks in Ukraine have been carried out by Iranian-made Shahed-131 and Shahed-136 kamikaze drones, which carry an explosive warhead and, unlike a missile, can loiter for hours before attacking a target. They’re cheap and unsophisticated weapons, costing less than $50,000 each — much less than the missiles needed to shoot them down — but carry over 30 pounds of explosives and can cause a lot of damage.

Iran also makes multi-role drones that can carry spy cameras or weapons. Again, these aren’t as sophisticated as western systems, but they’re affordable, and Iran will sell them to anyone — or even give them away to pro-Tehran terrorist groups. It’s easy to see why the troops at the Conoco patrol base didn’t want this one hanging around spying on them.

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