If their social media postings are to be believed, Islamic State fighters may have gotten their hands on an Iranian drone that made its way into Iraq.
Twitter users associated with the Islamic State began posting photos on the social media site this week allegedly showing a downed drone in eastern Iraq's Diyala province now in the group's possession. One user claimed the militants, who have held a tight grip on parts of Iraq and Syria since June, had "captured a coalition drone" — likely referring to the US-led coalition carrying out air strikes against the Islamic State in Syria.
In a report about the found drone, the Daily Beast cited an analysis with Christopher Harmer of the Institute for the Study of War, who said the photos circulating on the web are "100 percent not US or NATO sourced."
Corroborating postings from various Twitter users, Harmer noted that the craft resembled the Iranian Mohajer-4. One user, who is self-described as a Syria and Iraq analyst, also referred to the drone as a Mohajer-4. Drones have been spotted in Iraq skies since at least 2009, bolstering their presence in the country after the Islamic State made its lightning advance in Iraq over the summer.
One user claimed another Mohajer-4 was found in the Hamrin area, where clashes between the Iranian military and the Islamic State have been reported.
This news comes after video was published by Iran's military on November 12 that allegedly shows a drone in use that had been copied from an American model captured after it crashed on Iranian soil in 2011.
Iran's new knock-off toy is an advanced stealth drone called the RQ-170. The Mohajer-4 aircraft, which Harmer and others have cited as the craft in the Islamic State's photos, has been in use by the Iranian military for years. The drone is mostly used by the navy for reconnaissance missions.
Image via Twitter