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Image credit: REUTERS / Zohra Bensemra

ISIS has converted commercial drones into bombers

New images show how the terrorist organization makes weapons out of quadcopters.
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A member of Iraqi forces operates an unmanned drone to make it fly over ISIS position outside Mosul, Iraq October 23, 2016. REUTERS / Zohra Bensemra

As Iraqi Security Forces attempt to drive ISIS out of Mosul, a large city in Northern Iraq that the terrorist organization has occupied since 2014, it's facing an arsenal of improvised, experimental weapons. One of ISIS' newest hand-made weapons is the armed drone: a commercial quadcopter equipped with the ability to drop grenade-size explosives.

It's well-known that ISIS uses weaponized drones, but new images out of Mosul confirm that the group is now using the quadcopters as bombers as well as single-mission vehicles. Kurdish media network Rudaw reported last week that the explosive-dropping drones have killed civilians and damaged equipment. So far, ISIS has not used these drones to deliver chemical weapons, Rudaw said.

Iraqi forces have anti-drone weapons, including gun-like jammers that can drop some commercial models to the ground, and they've taken down at least a dozen armed drones so far, Rudaw reports. The ISF also uses off-the-shelf drones in its military operations, mainly for scouting and helping to call artillery strikes.

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