1258 GMT October 15, 2019
Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said it can monitor data of the US drones flying over Syria and Iraq, according to Fars News Agency.
“Seven or eight aerial vehicles with regular flights in Syria and Iraq were under our control; we could monitor their data, and managed to acquire their firsthand information,” IRGC Aerospace Commander Brigadier General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh said.
IRGC released a drone footage that shows the US military destroying one of its own UAVs for the fear that it might be seized by resistance forces in Iraq and Syria.
According to Hajizadeh, the US drone operating in Syria and Iraq had to make an emergency landing due to a problem it faced during its flight, Press TV wrote.
The drone was landed with difficulty in a desert area 10km away from a US base, a report by Fars News Agency said.
"However, the Americans did not dare to approach their own drone" and had to bomb it with a jet fighter, it added.
The footage released by the IRGC first shows the US drone facing a technical failure, and then a second drone sent by the US military to monitor the first UAV, and capture its destruction by a US jet fighter.
Iran grounded a US unmanned aerial vehicle RQ-170 Sentinel in December 2011 using electronic warfare techniques, as the stealth aircraft was flying over the Iranian city of Kashmar near the Afghan border.
Back in November 2018, General Hajizadeh highlighted the Islamic Republic’s drone intelligence, saying Iran now knows in which hangar of the US's Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan the RQ-170 had been deployed.
Iran currently possesses the biggest collection of captured or downed American and Israeli drones, including the US' MQ1, MQ9, Shadow, ScanEagle, and RQ-170 as well as the Israeli regime's Hermes, Hajizadeh added.
The Israeli drone was intercepted and shot down in October 2014 by IRGC forces on its way to the Natanz nuclear facility in the central Isfahan Province.
In the field of unmanned aerial vehicles, Iran is now one of the world’s top four or five countries, and the top drone power in the region, General Hajizadeh said.
“The Iranian-made Shahed-129 drone, for example, had round-the-clock flights over terrorists’ positions in Syria and Iraq, and its services were also used by the Syrian Army, the Russians, the Hezbollah forces, and others,” he added.
Iran's UAV program has expanded in recent years with more than a dozen models operating for a variety of functions ranging from surveillance to intelligence gathering, carrying bombs and Kamikaze operations.
They have been playing a significant role in the fight against terrorists as well as monitoring US warships in the Persian Gulf.