With all this in mind, it’s not surprising that elements of the U.S.-led coalition, especially special operations units, would be using Black Hornets in northeastern Syria, where the lines separating areas under the control of a wide array of actors, which also include Turkish forces and their local Syrian partners and pockets of ISIS terrorists, can be extremely fluid. The drones are ideal for scouting ahead along a patrol route or for reconnoitering urban areas, as well as monitoring the perimeters of small bases, where they might be able to spot impending attacks, ambushes, and all sorts of other hazards.
As the Syrian conflict became increasingly internationalized over nearly a decade, it has also become a dumping ground of military hardware of sorts, and some of that hardware has been extremely advanced. For example, Israel’s loss of a Stunner surface-to-air missile, possibly the most advanced in the world, that careened undetonated into Syrian, and as a result, reportedly Russian hands. It’s also a conflict where drones have been omnipresent and especially small ones used for reconnaissance, pinpoint strikes, or even synchronized mass attacks. As Black Hornet underscores, these drones are only getting smaller and more capable.
If anything, the war in Syria points to a future where small drones will dominate conflicts of all types.
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