Iranian military personnel are in Crimea to help Russian forces carry out attacks using Iranian-made drones. The White House has made the following announcement on Thursday.
The United States Presidential National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said that, “We can confirm that Russia’s military personnel that are based in Crimea have been piloting Iranian UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), using them to conduct strikes across Ukraine, including recent strikes against Kyiv. We assess that Iranian military personnel on the ground in Crimea assisted Russian in these operations.”
“I don’t have the number of Iranians who are in Crimea,” he added.
The spokesperson said Russia had received dozens of Iranian drones so far and would continue to obtain them. The U.S. is concerned that Russia is now seeking to acquire Iranian conventional weapons such as ground-to-ground missiles for use in Ukraine.
Kirby said the Iranians in Ukraine were trainers and technicians and that the strikes, which severely damaged Ukrainian infrastructure, were conducted by Russian soldiers. “Tehran is now directly engaged on the ground,” he stressed.
Kirby said the United States would do everything possible to uncover, deter, and combat the weapons shipments, and would continue to enforce sanctions against both Russian and Iranian arms sales vigorously.