Military Spokesman: ISIS Now Putting IEDs on Drones

By Susan Jones | October 13, 2016 | 8:04am EDT
A U.S. military spokesman said a system called "Drone Defender" and "additional advanced systems" have been sent to Iraq to detect, track and defeat the threat posed by enemy drones. (AP File Photo)

( - ISIS previously has used commerical, off-the-shelf drones for surveillance and to deliver ordnance, and now it is is using drones to deliver explosives, Colonel John Dorrian, the spokesman for U.S. military operations in Iraq, told reporters on Wednesday.

He confirmed that one enemy drone exploded after it was shot down: "We know that there was an improvised device on a -- on a -- a drone. And when that was brought back to the camp, it exploded. So, the reason or the way or the manner in which that happened -- still digging into that."

Dorrian said the drones have been seen over coalition bases and Iraqi bases. "It's a threat that we've seen, you know, developing for some time."

He said most of them are spy drones, not "this latest sort of Trojan Horse-style attack."

"So it is something that we see. We have engaged some of them with some of the capabilities that we have. Both we and our partners and have shot some of them down. So it -- this is something that we're seeing on the battlefield."

Dorrian said a system called "Drone Defender" and "additional advanced systems" have been sent to Iraq to detect, track and defeat the threat posed by enemy drones.

Some of the drones are Quadcopters "and that sort of thing."

"We've seen them use, you know, items that you can just buy. So these aren't -- there's nothing very high tech about them. They can just buy those as anybody else would. Those -- some of those are available on Amazon. So I don't know exactly how they get them, but they're routinely available. So, you know, they can order one just like anybody else can."

A reporter asked Dorrian if "flying IEDs" are a significant threat to coalition troops, or "is it merely a trifle?"

"Well, I would say there's probably a middle way," Dorrian replied. "And by that, what I mean is the implications of this are certainly not an existential threat and not something that's militarily significant in that it's going to stop anything that needs to happen from happening.

"The Iraqi security forces at a timeline of their choosing are going to go into Mosul and they're going to be supported by coalition forces. That is going to happen regardless of this threat.

"Now, that said, we don't just let the enemy develop a capability that threatens our forces and those forces of our allies and partners and leave that threat unaddressed. So, we've moved some additional capabilities into position and we will go after those capabilities whenever and wherever we see them."

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