Russia receives Iranian weapons and drones for war in Ukraine

Iran is set to provide Russia with hundreds of UAVs for the war in Ukraine, including weapon-capable drones and ‘suicide’ drones, on an expedited timeline, the US national security advisor said.

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.

“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.

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

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.

Drones manufactured in Iran, and variants of Iranian UAVs made by its proxies, are being used to cause chaos and destruction across the region.

Though proxy groups claim many of these attacks, evidence gleaned from the shrapnel and other threads of forensic evidence leads back to Iran.

Weaponized Iranian drones have been used in Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Saudi Arabia, and Iran regularly adds new UAVs to its arsenal.

The route from Iran to Russia is part of the so-called North-South Transport Corridor, a 7,200km-long ship, rail, and road route for moving freight through India, Iran, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Russia, Central Asia, and Europe.

Russia and Iran have been promoting the corridor with added urgency in recent years, as they face increasing isolation on the world stage for their actions.

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