French and Kurdish forces in northern Iraq were attacked by an exploding drone last Wednesday, according to the Pentagon. Air Force Colonel John Dorrian, the current spokesperson for the U.S. coalition in Iraq, admitted the device was “improvised” and said it exploded after it was taken back to a camp near the Iraqi city of Irbil.
Two Kurds lost their lives in the incident, according to a U.S. official. Dorrian referred to the attack as a “Trojan Horse” attack — apparently, the drone looked like a Styrofoam model plane. Two French operatives were also wounded.
The attack confirms a rapidly developing mode of drone warfare, which the U.S. has clearly monopolized. However, due to the wide availability of drones — you can even buy them on Amazon — both sides of the Syrian conflict have been improvising drone technology. A video recently released by an al-Qaeda affiliate purports to show a drone landing on a Syrian military target. Another video shows small explosives dropped by Hezbollah on al-Qaeda-linked terror group al-Nusra near Aleppo, as reported by the Military Times.
Though the U.S. uses drones more extensively than other nations, use of the unmanned aerial weapons cannot remain limited to one nation, and as the attacks on Kurdish and French forces demonstrate, Washington’s drone warfare policies are already beginning to backfire.
Where this technology will lead us is a path that prompted a friend of mine, a Ph.D. student in Peace Studies, to observe that drones are “the worst invention in the world.”
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