A U.S. “government agency,” supposedly the CIA, has been conducting secret missions with atomic drones in Syria, according to a new report.
“We know for a fact that a handful of Avenger drones have been flying under an umbrella classified for a particular government agency and have been active in the Middle East, particularly Syria,” The Drive reported, citing statements from the manufacturer of the unmanned drone.
According to the report, a U.S. government agency is widely considering the possibility that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), probably in cooperation with the U.S. Air Force, has carried out the aforementioned missions within the framework of a variety of “classified programs.
This is Q-11, a variant of the drone General Atomics Avenger, also known as Predator C, built by the General Atomics nuclear physics center.
Q-11 is well suited for discreet and flexible missions in Syrian airspace from bases in neighboring countries, the note suggests.
Earlier this week, the Dutch Scramble Magazine published a report indicating that U.S. Air Force Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk attack poachers had been used during attacks in the Middle East in 2017, although they were officially decommissioned.
However, The Drive questions the Scramble Magazine report. “The maker of the drone also revealed that at least one Avenger had flown over Syria at a time when rumors arose that the F-117 were returning to combat.
Arguing this point, the note notes that the Avenger “could have met many of the same requirements (as the F-117) for a stealthy armed platform capable of attacking much faster static and moving targets and, therefore, more sensitive than other unmanned aircraft available in the region.
The United States intervened in the conflict in Syria in September 2014, leading a self-proclaimed international coalition to allegedly fight the terrorist group EIIL (Daesh, in Arabic) without the consent of Damascus. The Syrian Government has denounced on countless occasions that Washington’s military presence in the Arab country constitutes a violation of both international law and the sovereignty of that nation.
The controversial use of unmanned aerial vehicles by the US in anti-terrorist operations began during the mandate of former US President George W. Bush after the attacks of 11 September 2001 and was extended on a large scale by Barack Obama in order to limit the presence of US troops in conflict zones around the world.
The current US president, Donald Trump, in turn expanded drone attacks throughout the Middle East. Human rights groups claim that civilians are the main victims of U.S. drone attacks.
Despite all this, Trump on Wednesday ordered the cancellation of the requirement that his government publish annual reports on the number of civilian casualties in drone attacks, which will allow him to hide the civilian casualties left by this type of U.S. attacks.