A fully armed MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle taxis down the runway at an air base in Afghanistan on its way to another wartime mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson)
On February 9, two US combat drones were spotted flying over the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib where several terrorist groups are active.
Syrian opposition activist Saad Eddin Zidan released a video showing the drones passing across each other over Idlib’s city center. The video also shows a Turkish Bayraktar TB2 combat drone that was flying nearby.
The two US drones, both MQ-9 Reapers, appeared to be armed with AGM-114 Hellfire missiles. Each drone also carried two unidentified pods, possibly for intelligence gathering.
US combat drones carried out a series of strikes on prominent terrorist commanders in Greater Idlib over the last year. The most recent strike was on December 30. The target, who is yet to be identified, survived.
Last August, two MQ-9 drones crashed in Greater Idlib after colliding midair in a mysterious accident. Back then, some sources claimed that Turkish air-defense fire was behind the accident. However, this is yet to be proven.
US drones were likely tracking or searching for one of the many al-Qaeda leaders moving freely in Greater Idlib right in front of Turkish forces and their proxies.
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