IRGC to supply depleted Russian military with drones for Ukraine war

IRGC is planning to supply hundreds of drones with combat weapon capabilities to Russia for use in Ukraine, a top US official said Monday (June 11).

White House national security advisor Jake Sullivan said information received by the United States supported views that the Russian military is facing challenges sustaining its weaponry after significant losses in Ukraine.

“The Iranian government is preparing to provide Russia with up to several hundred unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), including weapons-capable UAVs, on an expedited timeline,” Sullivan said at a White House briefing.

“Our information further indicates that Iran is preparing to train Russian forces to use these UAVs, with initial training sessions slated to begin as soon as early July,” he said.

Sullivan said it was not clear whether Iran had delivered any of the drones to Russia yet.

“From our perspective, we will continue to do our part to help sustain the effective defence of Ukraine and to help the Ukrainians show that the Russian effort to try to wipe Ukraine off the map cannot succeed,” Sullivan said.

Iran’s foreign ministry responded Tuesday, saying “no special development” had taken place in technological co-operation with Russia following its invasion of Ukraine in February, without specifically mentioning drones.

Also Tuesday, the Kremlin announced that Russian President Vladimir Putin will travel to Tehran on July 19 for a Syria summit with his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

It will be the Kremlin chief’s second visit abroad since he sent troops into Ukraine in late February, after having visited Tajikistan in late June.

Russian limitations

“While Russia has its own extensive arsenal of drones, the arrival of Iranian aircraft could help Moscow replenish a key weapons system that suffered heavy losses during the four-month conflict,” the Washington Post reported.

Russia’s receipt of the UAVs is a “significant statement” about the limitations of its capabilities, American Enterprise Institute Critical Threats Project director Frederick Kagan told the newspaper.

Latest news
Related news