Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh has revealed that Iran managed to obtain control over “seven to eight drones” flying over Syria and Iraq, as well as access to their “first-hand intel”, Fars News Agency reported.
The agency published video footage claiming that it had been shot by the US drones that were allegedly hacked by Iran.
A senior commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) says Iran’s aerospace force has successfully hacked the US drone command and control system as a response to Washington’s impudence in claiming that it has sabotaged Iran’s missiles.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a ceremony in Tehran on Sunday, the commander of the IRGC’s Aerospace Division, Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, said, “We did this to tell them (the Americans) that you not only failed to achieve your goals, but we infiltrated into your systems,” and this was a response to the United States’ insolence.
Among other things, the footage shows the crash-landing and subsequent destruction of a drone by the airstrike. The video was possibly shot in 2016 in Syria, where an MQ-9 Reaper Drone crashed in July 2016. The US Air Force then reported that it crashed due to an operator losing control of the UAV and not due to “enemy fire”. The drone was later destroyed by a “coalition aircraft” strike.
According to IRGC Aerospace Commander Brigadier General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh, the US drone was operating in Syria and Iraq when it was forced to make an emergency landing due to a problem it faced during flight.
The drone was landed with difficulty in a desert area 10 km away from a US base, a report by Fars news agency said.
“However, the Americans did not dare to approach their own drone” and had to bomb it with a warplane, it added.
“Seven or eight aerial vehicles with regular flights in Syria and Iraq were under our control; we could monitor their data, and managed to acquire their first-hand information,” General Hajizadeh said.
The footage released by the IRGC first shows the US drone facing a technical failure, and then a second drone sent by the US military to monitor the first UAV, and capture its destruction by a US jet fighter.
Iran famously grounded a US unmanned aerial vehicle RQ-170 Sentinel in December 2011 using electronic warfare techniques, as the stealth aircraft was flying over the Iranian city of Kashmar near the Afghan border.
Back in November 2018, General Hajizadeh highlighted the Islamic Republic’s drone intelligence, saying Iran now knows in which hangar of the US’ Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan the RQ-170 had been deployed
When Russian state-sponsored website RT asked the Pentagon about the incident, Pentagon spokeswoman Commander Rebecca Rebarich, said: “We are aware of the report and we have nothing else to add.”