Iran is currently planning to supply Russia with hundreds of weapons-capable drones for use in Ukraine, as per top US officials.
Jake Sullivan, the White House national security adviser, mentioned the information received by the US-supported views that Russia’s heavy shelling in Ukraine, which has led it to consolidate gains in the country’s east in current weeks, was “coming at a cost to the sustainment of its own weapons.”
Sullivan further added, “The Iranian government is currently preparing to supply Russia with up to several hundred UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), inclusive of weapons-capable UAVs, on an expedited timeline.”
“Our information further shows that Iran is currently preparing to train the Russian military to use these UAVs, with earlier training sessions slated to begin as soon as early July.”
Sullivan added it was not clear whether Iran had delivered any of the drones to Russia yet.
He emphasised that the Houthi rebels in Yemen had used Iran’s drones to attack Saudi Arabia.
Drones have played an important role on both sides of the battle in Ukraine, from firing missiles from a distance, to dropping bombs on targets, to carrying out surveillance for artillery forces & ground troops.
Ukrainian troops have had specifically success in using Turkish-designed Bayraktar armed combat UAVs & the US, along with other allies have provided Kyiv with many types of smaller drones.
Sullivan mentioned, “From our perspective, we will continue to do our part to help support the effective defence of Ukraine and to support the Ukrainians show that the Russian effort to try to brush Ukraine off the map cannot be achieved.”
Sullivan’s revelation comes on the eve of US President Joe Biden’s trip to Israel & Saudi Arabia, where Iran’s nuclear programme and malign activities in the region will be a primary subject of discussion.
The US plan to reveal publicly that the two nation’s chief regional rival was helping to rearm Russia comes as both Israel & Saudi Arabia have resisted joining global efforts to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine due to their domestic interests.