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Tags: russia | iran | china | north korea
OPINION

Iran, China, North Korea Helping Russia Threaten West

a man sitting on a park bench across the street from a destroyed building

A local resident sits outside a building destroyed by Russian, Iranian-made, drones after an airstrike on Bila Tserkva, southwest of Kyiv, on October 5. (AFP via Getty Images)

Micah Halpern By Tuesday, 25 October 2022 08:24 AM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Iran is providing drones to Russia for use against Ukraine.

This is the real stuff, not a Hollywood (or even a Bollywood) movie. We have seen the images of the Iranian Shahid 136 drone. The shape of this drone is unmistakable.

This Iranian contribution to Putin’s invasion has been used as kamikaze missiles crashing into their targets. And their targets have been, almost exclusively, civilian areas. Children’s playgrounds included.

In addition to the drones Iran also sent staff to train Russians.

It is important to understand that, while the Shahid 136 is a drone, these drones function as cruise missiles. Each drone carries an 80-pound explosive head that denotates on impact. The impact causes explosions.

While they are small in size and are launched from the bed of a pickup, they have a range of 1,500 miles.

These Iranian drones, or UAVs, are not new to this invasion. They have been used by the Russians for several months — but only in isolated incidents. And only recently have they have become a weapon of choice.

Two interesting asides here:

  1. The UAV, aka drones, have been renamed. UAV used to stand for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. Now, UAV stands for UNCREWED Aerial Vehicle.
  2. Why is the Shahid 136 drone now being used so very frequently by Russia? The best explanation for this tactical change is that Russia simply does not possess a stock of smart missiles or smart bombs. The catchall term for those smart bombs is cruise missiles. Because Russia does not have their own supply, they are buying the drones from Iran.

These Iranian drones — while very destructive and certainly lethal, are very rudimentary. Controlled by a monitor and a base they can stay in the area until their target appears. And for that, these drones have been given the nickname “loitering drones.”

Because of the sanctions leveled against Iran by the West, the drones are using civilian GPS satellite and technology easily available on the open market.

For all intents and purposes, these drones are similar to a very good high school science experiment. They use the GPS that they get from AliExpress and navigation systems from Glonass.

That means that the GPS targets stationary objects. The handler can see the moving objects and shoots them.

Iran is not permitted to acquire military-grade navigation technology. So, in essence, the operating system of the Shahid 136 is as good as your car’s navigation system or Google Maps or Waze.

We all know how good those systems are in getting us to a cousin’s wedding in an area we’ve never before been to — and here they’re being used to wage a war.

The drone is about 10 feet long. Its wingspan at its widest — and it is a very distinctive triangle wing — is 8.5 feet wide. The Shahid weighs in at 440 pounds.

Because of their size it is hard to shoot them down. And, again, because of their size, they become a very effective cruise-like weapon.

Understandably, Ukraine has broken off all ties with Iran precisely because Iran is providing weapons to Russia and those Iranian weapons are targeting and killing and maiming Ukrainian citizens. And because the wreckage of these downed drones can clearly be identified as Iranian, many countries have condemned Iran for their part in Putin’s invasion.

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid took it one step further and said that Russia’s relations with Iran pose a significant threat to the entire world.

Speaking on Russia’s RTV channel, Lapid underscored the role that Iran is now playing in this invasion and said:

“We naturally think that relations between Russia and Iran are a serious problem not only for Israel, but also for Ukraine, Europe and the whole world … Iran is a dangerous terrorist state, and the fact that Russia is doing business with it puts the whole world in danger. The fact that they use Iranian drones to kill Ukrainian civilians is absolutely unacceptable.”

Lapid explained that Israel continues to support Ukraine in the ongoing conflict with Russia. But he also said that Israel has a “duty to look after Israel’s security.” Lapid was apparently referring to Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz announcing that Israel wouldn’t provide Ukraine with weapons — just defense systems.

Israel has promised to provide Ukrainians with early warning systems to help protect civilians and get them into secure bunkers. But Ukraine is not satisfied.

One Ukrainian official even responded with a biting metaphor. He said, “That is like asking someone for bread and getting a spoon.”

Having Iran, China and North Korea all together, all helping Russia, is a potential problem for the Western world. Should they continue to unite, the free world will be in jeopardy — especially the United States and Israel.

Micah Halpern is a political and foreign affairs commentator. He founded "The Micah Report" and hosts "Thinking Out Loud with Micah Halpern," a weekly TV program, and "My Chopp," a daily radio spot. Follow him on Twitter @MicahHalpern. Read Micah Halpern's Reports — More Here.

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MicahHalpern
Having Iran, China and North Korea all together, all helping Russia, is a potential problem for the Western world. Should they continue to unite, the free world will be in jeopardy — especially the United States and Israel.
russia, iran, china, north korea
836
2022-24-25
Tuesday, 25 October 2022 08:24 AM
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