Russian officials visited Iran to view drones, US says

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Russian officials recently visited Iran twice to assess combat drones, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said on Saturday, as Moscow seeks to bolster its arsenal for its invasion of Ukraine.

Satellite images released by the White House show Shahed-191 and Shahed-129 drones at or flying near Kashan Airfield on June 8 and July 5, the official said in a statement.

The White House had signaled earlier this week that it believed Moscow was seeking to acquire hundreds of drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and that Tehran was ready to train Russian forces to use them as soon as this month.

“We released these images captured in June showing Iranian UAVs that the Russian government delegation saw that day. This suggests continued Russian interest in acquiring strike-capable Iranian UAVs,” Sullivan added.

John Kirby, a spokesman for the National Security Council, stated this week that drones can be used for both reconnaissance and munitions delivery.

Drones have played a crucial role on both sides of the war in Ukraine, from firing missiles from a distance to dropping small bombs on targets and conducting reconnaissance.

Ukrainian forces have had particular success using the Turkish-made Bayraktar, and the United States and other allies have supplied kyiv with various types of smaller drones.

afp/ap/dpa /rr

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