“We have information that the Iranian government is preparing to provide Russia with several hundred UAVs, including weapons-capable UAVs,” US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told CNN in a statement, noting the US assesses “an official Russian delegation recently received a showcase of Iranian attack-capable UAVs.”
The proliferation of Iranian armed drones and their variants to Tehran’s allies and proxies poses serious challenge to world security, especially if we consider that, in the hands of non-state actors, Iranian UCAVs or variants will increase the range of the conventional and unconventional threats these groups pose, including terrorist acts.
The IRGC used the Shahed-129 for combat and surveillance missions throughout the Syrian civil war, beginning around 2014. The IRGC used the Shahed-129 to strike unidentified targets in Iraq and Syria—the first ever known Iranian drone strikes in wartime—sometime in 2015-16.
The IRGC has used the Shahed-191 for external missions since unveiling it in October 2016 but less so than the Shahed-129. Israel shot down a Shahed-191 that entered its airspace from Syria in February 2018. The IRGC used the Shahed-191 in a drone and missile attack against the Islamic State in Syria in October 2018.