The Pentagon Is Worried About ISIS' New Weapon

Off-the-shelf drones are being turned into bombs
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 12, 2016 4:52 AM CDT
Updated Oct 12, 2016 6:21 AM CDT
ISIS Is Now Using Exploding Drones
This ISIS drone was shot down near Fallujah earlier this year.   (AP Photo)

In a development that some security experts say the Pentagon should have seen coming, ISIS is now using drones to kill people on the battlefield. The Guardian reports that according to French media, two Kurdish peshmerga fighters were killed and two French special forces soldiers were badly injured in Iraq last week when a small drone rigged with explosives blew up after it was intercepted and brought down. ISIS has been known to use drones of the kind easily bought online for surveillance, but this is thought to be among the first times the group has successfully used them to attack its enemies.

"We should have been ready for this, and we weren't," a robotic weaponry expert at the New America think tank tells the New York Times. With the battle for Mosul looming, US military experts fear that ISIS plans to deploy more explosive-laden drones against coalition troops, though the US has launched at least eight airstrikes in Iraq and Syria over the last 18 months to try to wipe out the group's drones. The Pentagon is working on ways to combat attacks from small drones and has developed devices to disarm them, though these are not generally available to Iraqi or Kurdish fighters on the front lines. (Iraq has executed dozens of ISIS fighters accused of massacring soldiers.)

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