UK backs Ukraine’s claim it downed Iran-made drone used by Russia

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The Iranian government has not commented on the allegations, but has previously said it would not help either side in the war.

Tehran, Iran The United Kingdom’s Defense Ministry has backed a Ukrainian claim that Ukraine’s military shot down an Iranian-made drone that Russia used in its attack against its neighbor.

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In its latest military intelligence update on Wednesday, the ministry said it is “highly likely” that Russia has deployed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) built by Iran in the nearly seven-month war in Ukraine.

“Russia is almost certainly sourcing weapons from other heavily sanctioned states such as Iran and North Korea as its own stocks are depleted,” it said.


The statement came a day after the Ukrainian military published several images that said it had shot down a drone near Kupiyansk in Kharkiv that appeared to be an Iranian Shaheed-136 model.

Ukrainian soldiers hold a flag on a roof in Kupiyansk, Ukraine in this photo from social media released on September 10, 2022 [Telegram @kuptg/via Reuters]

The Iranian government has yet to comment on the claims, but its officials have refused to supply Russia with drones previously used in Ukraine, saying Iran would not assist either side in the war because He had supported his resolve through talks.

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There are no known official specifications for the Shaheed-136, but it is a so-called “suicide drone” capable of carrying a weapon over long distances.

A UK intelligence update said the alleged loss of UAVs near the front lines suggests there is a real possibility that Russia may be attempting to use the system to launch tactical strikes rather than more strategic targets in Ukrainian territory. Used to be.

It also said that Shaheed-136 is suspected to have been deployed by Iran in attacks in the Middle East, including the July 2021 attack on the oil tanker MT Mercer Street.

The United States and Israel also blamed Iran for the attack last year, but the latter denied responsibility.

American perspective

The US first claimed in July that Iran was preparing to sell “hundreds” of armed drones to Russia for the war in Ukraine. US media reported late last month that the first batch of two types of military drones, including the Martyr series, had been delivered to Russia, but added that the drones suffered mechanical and technical problems.

Earlier this month, the US also imposed sanctions on an Iranian company accused of coordinating military flights to transport Iranian drones to Russia, as well as on three companies involved in the production of UAVs.

Meanwhile, Iranian military air force commander Hamid Wahedi said this month that the purchase of advanced Russian-made Su-35 fighter jets – instead of the earlier model, the Su-30 – is “on the agenda” for the Iranian armed forces.

The announcement prompted speculation that the price takeover could be linked to drone exports, something that Iranian officials have yet to comment on. Iran hosted a military drone competition last month in its central city of Kashan, where a drone base is located, which was attended by officials from Russia, Belarus and Armenia.

At the time, top commanders of the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said Iran was exporting drones to major powers without naming the destination countries. Iran also recently unveiled the second version of its Arash drone, which the IRGC commander said is designed to strike Iran’s arch enemy, Tel Aviv and Haifa in Israel.

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