Twice last August, and again in October, I mentioned that Islamist militants were 'weaponizing' hobby-type drones and using them as weapons in the Middle East, and that such drones would probably pose a threat in the US soon. A spirited debate ensued in the comments sections of those posts, with some proclaiming loudly that this was technically impossible. Unfortunately, no-one told the militants that: so they've continued to rack up successes using their modified drones, most recently several Russian strike aircraft and two of their servicemen.
Following a deadly attack on Russia's Khmeimim Air Base in Syria on December 31st, which killed at least two servicemen and damaged or destroyed aircraft based there, it now seems as if the base is coming under attack on a fairly regular basis according to reports.
Days before the deadly New Years Eve attack that we still know little about, on December 27th, another onslaught of artillery occurred. Two of the rockets were supposedly shot down by Pantsir-S1 point air defense systems while at least one other impacted outside the base.
Just hours ago, on January 6th, 2017, reports of another attack on the base began emerging, this one supposedly coming from weaponized drones.
Although these aren't the first attacks on the base, three attacks in ten days seems like a significant uptick in enemy action for an installation that is supposedly situated in largely non-hostile territory. And these are only the attacks that have been more widely reported, some sources say there have been multiple weaponized drone attacks just in a single day.
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Weaponized drones are especially attractive for this type of warfare because they can be built in large quantities clandestinely in an urban environment and they are a standoff weapon that allows the user to have a high chance of survivability after their employment. They also put high-value targets that are well defended against a ground infiltration within a single operator's reach. Russia's main base in Syria is clearly the juiciest of almost all targets imaginable for such hostile actors. If these factors are indeed at play, these attacks are likely to become even more frequent as time goes on.
There's more at the link.
Photographs of damaged aircraft and downed drones have since emerged, offering visual confirmation of at least some jihadist successes. Here's just one example, greatly reduced in size. Follow the preceding link for more information.
If anyone thinks such attacks aren't inevitable on US shores, sooner rather than later, I have this bridge in Brooklyn, NYC I'd like to sell you. Cash only, please, and in small bills.