A Yemeni delegation of drone strike victims’ family members, human rights experts and grassroots leaders visited Washington as part of the Global Drone Summit on November 16-17, meeting drone pilots, legal experts, human rights advocates, authors, technology experts, artists and grassroots activists. They hope to build a global movement to rein in the use of drones for killing and spying, noting the decline in the American public’s support from 83% in 2012 to 61% this year, due to increasing publicity about civilian deaths.
Proliferation . . .
The Jerusalem Post and other media reported that according to the IRNA news agency Iran has “successfully” tested a new missile-equipped drone (the Fotros) which can launch air-to-surface missiles and has a range of some 2,000kms for 16 to 30 hours.
Iran also publicized its development of ‘Yasseer,’ a reconnaissance drone. The vehicle can fly for eight hours and has a range of 200km. Iranian State TV reported that it was “reverse-engineered” from the US ‘ScanEagle’ drone which entered Iranian airspace from eastern Afghanistan.
No threat to well-armed nations
Jonathan Marcus, the BBC’s Defence Correspondent, notes that drones have largely been used in clear skies against enemies with limited air defences. When fighting broke out between Georgia and Russian forces in 2008 Georgia’s Israeli-supplied drones were quickly shot out of the sky.
Yiftah Shapir, director of the Military Balance Project at the Tel Aviv-based Institute for National Security Studies, “This type of drone is big enough for Israeli air defenses to deal with before it enters Israeli airspace, whether it carries surveillance equipment or weapons,” he said.
So that’s all right?
See the testimony of a peaceable Yemeni family whose children were injured and whose grandmother – picking vegetables in the garden – was killed by drone strike.