A Daesh quadcopter. Sara Hussein photo via Twitter

The Islamic State’s Deadly Drone Fleet

Podcast — quadcopters are dropping bombs on Mosul

Matthew Gault
Mar 31, 2017 · 2 min read

by MATTHEW GAULT

For the past decade, unmanned aerial vehicles have been a cornerstone of America’s campaign against Islamic insurgents in the Greater Middle East. Predator and Reaper drones crisscross the globe firing Hellfire missiles. Other countries have operational drone fleets, but few match the might and ubiquity of America’s.

But journalists on the front lines in Iraq have seen a disturbing new trend — Islamic State using retail quadcopters to drop their own munitions with surprising accuracy. Mosul is the front line in the fight against ISIS as well as the front line in a new arms race. One that pits the tiny drones of the Islamic State against the budding anti-drone technology of the West.

To be clear, Islamic State’s retail quadcopters dropping grenades and manufactured missiles is nothing compared to the power of a Predator firing off Hellfire missiles with pinpoint accuracy. But that’s cold comfort to an Iraqi soldier killed by a handmade explosive dropped from above over the streets of Mosul.

This week on War College, Wall Street Journal reporter Ben Kesling walks us through the drones of Islamic State. He’s just back from the fighting in Mosul and saw his share of quadcopters as well as the innovative solutions coalition and Iraqi forces are using to fight against them.

War Is Boring

From drones to AKs, high technology to low politics, exploring how and why we fight above, on and below an angry world

Matthew Gault

Written by

Contributing editor at Vice Motherboard. Co-host and producer of the War College podcast. Maker of low budget horror flicks. Email my twitter handle at gmail.

War Is Boring

From drones to AKs, high technology to low politics, exploring how and why we fight above, on and below an angry world

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