On Security

Beyond the Buzz: Assessing the Terrorist Drone Threat

Scott Stewart
VP of Tactical Analysis, Stratfor
Feb 9, 2017 | 08:00 GMT
Recent Islamic State propaganda videos have flaunted the group's use of drones to attack Iraqi and Kurdish forces in Mosul.
Recent Islamic State propaganda videos have flaunted the group's use of drones to attack Iraqi and Kurdish forces in Mosul. But the technique will be hard to replicate outside the Islamic State's core territory.
(ABU MEDINAH/Youtube)

The Islamic State is taking to the skies as the fight for Mosul wears on. Over the past several weeks the extremist group has been flaunting its use of unmanned aerial vehicles -- drones -- against Iraqi army and Kurdish forces in and around the city. Propaganda videos feature dramatic aerial footage of the precision attacks, and they have produced their intended effect, receiving heavy coverage in mainstream media outlets. So far, the Islamic State has deployed this technique only in Iraq and Syria. That's likely soon to change, though, considering the attention the group's drone attacks have been getting and the prevalence of drones in the West. Drone attacks are coming. But they do not necessarily portend death from above....

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