Drones have become an effective weapon in assassination operations in recent years, after this weapon has already proven successful in hunting down the target in most of its operations.
Yesterday, Sunday, November 7, 2021, the world woke up to the news that Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi had survived an assassination attempt by 3 booby-trapped drones that targeted his house in the Green Zone in Baghdad, and no party has claimed responsibility for the attack that caused material damage to the house.
The Iraqi security forces managed to shoot down two of the three planes, and the attack resulted in the injury of 6 members of the Prime Minister’s personal guard force.
What increases the danger of these drones is that they fly at a low level that radar and surveillance technologies cannot easily detect. Al Jazeera Net has monitored similar cases recently, during which prominent figures were targeted in an attempt to assassinate them via drones.
Leaders of al-Qaeda in Yemen and Mullah Nazir in Pakistan
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism website stated that from November 2002 to July 2017, 254 strikes by drones were recorded in Yemen, leaving at least 890 dead and 155 wounded.
2012: The United States arrested a man who was planning to send drones loaded with explosives over official buildings in the American capital, Washington, and the accused admitted that he was aiming to avenge the attacks of American drones in Iraq, according to the newspaper.
January 2013: Mullah Nazir, the powerful Pakistani warlord whose men were fighting NATO in Afghanistan, is killed in a series of US drone attacks on Pakistan’s tribal areas.
June 2015: The leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Nasser Al-Wahaishi, was killed in a US drone attack, inflicting one of the toughest blows on the organization since the killing of Osama bin Laden.
– Before al-Wuhayshi, who is considered the second man in al-Qaeda in the world, many leaders of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula were killed in attacks by American drones in Yemen.
– Since 2016: ISIS began carrying out suicide attacks with drones, targeting in particular the international coalition forces in both Iraq and Syria.
October 5, 2017: The leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Shroum Al-Sanani, was killed in a raid carried out by a US drone in the village of Yakla in Al-Bayda Governorate (central Yemen). Determine his identity.
Venezuelan President..a failed attempt
August 4, 2018: A failed assassination attempt against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was carried out using a drone carrying explosives.
– In the assassination attempt, the DJI 600 was used, a modern drone that costs 5,000 dollars and can carry more than 5 kilograms.
President Maduro and the rest of the government escaped unharmed. In return, 7 National Guard soldiers were wounded. An unknown group of civilians and soldiers calling itself the “National Movement of Soldiers in Shirts” claimed responsibility for the attack, and said, “It planned to launch Two drones, but snipers shot them down.”
Qassem Soleimani.. US drones
January 3, 2019: The US military used a drone in the qualitative operation that killed the commander of the Iranian Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani, and the deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Authority, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
– The United States relies heavily on “drones” to pursue al-Qaeda and ISIS elements in various regions of the world, especially in Yemen, Afghanistan and Somalia.
The United States owns several types of these aircraft, most notably the MQ-9 Reaper, which was used in the implementation of the Soleimani operation in the vicinity of Baghdad Airport.
According to the US Air Force, the MQ-9 Reaper is a multi-role, medium-altitude, long-range armed aircraft.
The drone is capable of flying 1,150 miles and at an altitude of 50,000 feet, and is designed to deliver offensive strikes from a distance.
– The American drone has features that enable it to hit its targets with extreme accuracy, and the most important of these features is its ability to maneuver and hover for a long time. It is also characterized by sensitive sensors, a multi-mode communication cabin, as well as its precise weapons.
Also capable of conducting surveillance and reconnaissance missions, assisting in search and rescue missions and allowing US forces to “conduct irregular warfare operations,” according to the US Air Force.
The aircraft, which entered service in 2007, has a wingspan of 66 feet and an estimated speed of 230 miles per hour.
The drone is operated remotely by a pilot and sensor operator, and each costs about $16 million, and as of September 2015 the Air Force had 93 MQ-9 Reaper aircraft in its arsenal.
This aircraft is larger and more powerful than its predecessor, the MQ-1 Predator, and is capable of exterminating targets with AGM-114 Hellfire missiles or other munitions.
One of the most important features of this aircraft is that it is low in sound, and is evidence of the great progress made in the field of remote-controlled aircraft in the US Air Force.
Al-Sadr in Iraq and Al-Burhan in Sudan
– December 2019: There were conflicting reports about the fact that a drone had targeted the house of the leader of the Sadrist movement Muqtada al-Sadr in the city of Najaf (south of Baghdad).
– At that time, Al Jazeera Net sources ruled out that the drone was coming from outside the borders or remote areas, suggesting that it was locally made and aimed at delivering a message and not an assassination attempt.
February 6, 2020: American forces killed Qassem al-Rimi, the leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, with a drone in Marib.
– November 29, 2020: a high-ranking military commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard was killed inside Syrian territory near the Iraqi border, following an aerial bombardment of his car from an unidentified drone, after he finished a meeting with leaders of the Popular Mobilization inside Iraqi territory, with 3 people inside the car.
March 28, 2021: The Presidential Guard in Sudan shot down a drone that flew over the house of the President of the Sovereign Council, Lieutenant-General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, at the army’s general command headquarters in Khartoum.
Sudanese army spokesman, Brigadier General Amer Mohamed Al-Hassan, said that the drone was launched to monitor the capital’s airspace, without an official notification to the presidential guard.
He added that the plane circled Al-Burhan’s house twice, and that it was shot down, indicating that the presidential guard had no prior knowledge of this, which prompted him to shoot the plane.
– The incident occurred amid security concerns, 3 weeks after the assassination attempt on Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok by targeting his convoy with explosives in Khartoum, and the authorities had hinted that the operation bore external fingerprints.
“The Drone” .. a historical look
The name of the unmanned aircraft, the drone, or using the English word “drones” is given to aircraft that are controlled from a distance, and sometimes it is autonomous.
The first unmanned aircraft appeared in England in 1917, and then developed in 1924.
Since World War I, the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom have been the first countries to use it in their armies, then the Soviet Union joined them in the 1930s.
The Second World War 1939-1945 and the Korean War 1950-1953 made it possible for the United States to use it for training purposes.
– They were also used as guided missiles in that war, and in confronting manned warplanes.
One of them was used for each of those purposes once, so about 15,000 planes were produced from them through a factory located in southern California.
Her role in the intelligence field emerged after the Vietnam War 1955-1975.
First supplied with missiles in the 1999 attack on Kosovo.
Every year, the reports of the concerned authorities in the United Kingdom, France and Canada reveal that the flying of drones is constantly increasing over the areas that are not allowed, such as airports, stadiums and hospitals.
There are drones that are sold very cheaply and can be a deadly weapon, as is the case of the “Dji Phantom”, which costs 1,200 dollars, and can carry one kilogram of explosives.
This type of aircraft can carry a camera to photograph bridges, government buildings and stadiums, and it can also be a weapon for terrorists by stuffing it with explosives that enable them to carry out a massacre.