WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) – Iran is preparing to provide Russia with hundreds of drone aircraft, including some capable of carrying weaponry, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Monday (July 11).
Sullivan said US intelligence “indicates that the Iranian government is preparing to provide Russia with up to several hundred UAVs, including weapons-capable UAVs, on an expedited timeline.” He didn’t detail the intelligence or its sources.
“Our information further indicates Iran is preparing to train Russian forces to use these UAVs, with initial training sessions slated to begin as soon as early July,” Sullivan told reporters during a press briefing.
Russia has relied heavily on drones in its invasion of Ukraine, and the government in Kyiv claims to have downed more than 600 of the aircraft, according to the Kyiv Independent, a news organisation in the country.
Ukraine’s military has also employed drones to attack Russian forces and target artillery strikes, and the US has included drones among the weapons it’s provided to Kyiv.
Russian authorities claimed that Ukraine conducted a drone strike on an oil refinery in southern Russia last month. Ukraine’s military did not confirm the attack.