Report: Iranian Military Operatives Killed in Ukrainian Strike as Russia-Iran Coordinate Drone Warfare
“British and US intelligence says the Iranian Revolutionary Guard is on the ground in Crimea, supporting Russian drone attacks on Ukraine.”
Ukrainians claim to have killed at least ten Iranians amid reports of deepening Russian-Iranian military cooperation in drone warfare, Israeli media said Friday.
The revelation coincides with news reports that Iranian military observers, including members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)—a U.S.-designated terrorist outfit—are stationed in Russian-occupied eastern Ukraine to oversee drone strikes against Ukrainian targets.
Russia has ordered 2,400 Shahed “kamikaze” drones from Iran, out of which 1,000 have already been delivered. Last week, the Russian military used swarms of Iranian-made drones to destroy infrastructure and hit civilians targets in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv.
These drone swarms are being guided to their targets by Iranian operators embedded with the Russian military, intelligence sources say. “British and US intelligence says the Iranian Revolutionary Guard is on the ground in Crimea, supporting Russian drone attacks on Ukraine,” the UK TV channel Sky News reported Friday.
“US officials believe Iran may have deployed military personnel to assist the Russians, in part because of their lack of familiarity with the Iranian-made drones,” the broadcaster added.
— Jason Brodsky (@JasonMBrodsky) October 17, 2022
The Times of Israel reported the Ukrainian claims:
Ukrainian strikes in the past week against Russia’s ongoing invasion killed at least 10 Iranians, a Ukrainian official told Hebrew media on Friday.
The official told the Kan public broadcaster that the deaths occurred in two separate strikes in areas where Iranians were.
There were no further details about the circumstances of the strikes.
Iranian trainers from the IRGC, a branch of the military the US lists as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, are assisting Russia in the campaign out of a military base in Crimea, the report said, citing current and former US officials who had been briefed on classified intelligence.
Many of the Iranian drones have been based in Crimea since they were delivered to Russia, the report said.
Russia initially sent its own personnel to Iran to learn how to use the drones, but the weapons were plagued by problems after they arrived in Russian territory. Iran then sent its trainers to Crimea to address the malfunctions, the report said.
Iran's supreme terror leader, Ali Khamenei, reveals his regime's true intentions about developing and using nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles to carry them saying:
"The West now fears our drones and missiles…" an allusion to Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/e42FlmZuYx
— Adam Milstein (@AdamMilstein) October 21, 2022
Russia Strikes Ukraine’s Power Plants
Besides hitting civilian targets, the latest wave of Russian drones and missile strikes are aimed at destroying Ukraine’s power infrastructure before the winter sets in. The country’s “energy supply” has been “badly damaged by more than 300 Russian drone and missile attacks over the past 10 days as the weather turns cooler,” British daily The Guardian reported earlier week.
The strikes on power plants are having a devastating impact. According to Reuters on Friday, Russian air strike have destroyed “30-40% of power infrastructure” and “at least half of Ukraine’s thermal generation capacity.”
The Russian strikes continues on Saturday. “Air strikes have hit critical infrastructure in central and western Ukraine, as Russia continues to target the country’s energy grid,” the BBC reported. “Sites to the south and west of Kyiv have been struck and power cuts have been reported across the country.”
On Saturday, the German public broadcaster DW News reported the extent of damage to the country’s energy sector:
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russia carried out a “massive attack” on Ukraine overnight, following reported strikes on energy infrastructure that resulted in power outages across the country.
“The aggressor continues to terrorize our country. At night, the enemy launched a massive attack: 36 rockets, most of which were shot down… These are vile strikes on critical objects. Typical tactics of terrorists,” Zelenskyy said on social media.
More than a million households in Ukraine were left without electricity following Russian strikes on energy facilities across the country, the deputy head of the Ukrainian presidency said. (…)
State grid operator Ukrenergo said the attacks targeted transmission infrastructure in western Ukraine, but that power supply restrictions were being put in place in ten regions across the entire country, including in the capital, Kyiv.
Fighting Continues As Ukrainian Forces Report Gains in South
As the Ukrainian counteroffensive enters its eight week, Kyiv is looking to liberate the southern Kherson region. “Fierce fighting continued in southern and eastern Ukraine as both sides looked to be preparing for a battle over the strategically crucial city of Kherson in the south,” the TV channel France24 reported.
“Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of the Ukrainian president’s office, said on Friday that Ukrainian forces had “de-occupied” 88 settlements in the southern region of Kherson,” the broadcaster added.
The Ukrainians pushes ahead, the occupying Russian authorities have ordered civilians to evacuate of the Kherson city, the capital of the contested region. “Moscow-installed authorities urged residents in the southern Kherson region — which the Kremlin claims to have annexed — to leave the main city “immediately” in the face of Kyiv’s advancing counter-offensive,” the French TV network Euronews reported. “A Moscow-installed official in Kherson, Kirill Stremousov, told the Russian news agency Interfax that around 25,000 people had made the crossing.”DONATE
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