Reports are surfacing that an Israeli-made suicide drone was seen flying over the disputed area of Nagorno-Karabakh, where Azerbaijan and Armenia have clashed in recent days.
According to The Washington Post, a video posted to YouTube of the alleged Israeli-made drone surfaced Tuesday, in what could be one of the first instances of such a weapon being used in combat.
The drone, based on its distinct wing shape and nose, looks like an Israeli Aerospace Industries Harop loitering munition, the newspaper said. Unlike a Predator drone armed with a Hellfire missile, the Harop itself is the munition and destroys a target by ramming into it.
According to the manufacturer’s website, the Harop can be remotely piloted or it can find targets autonomously based on radar or radio wave emissions. These two targeting methods are ideal for attacking enemy air defenses, as the smaller drone can evade weapons and detection systems designed to target much larger aircraft.
In this instance, the Harop apparently targeted a bus full of “Armenian volunteers,” killing seven, according to a spokesman for Armenia’s Defense Ministry who was quoted as having told the Russian news agency Ria Novosti.
It is unclear how many countries use the Harop, noted The Washington Post, although reports indicate that the drone has been sold to India and Azerbaijan.
In recent months, Israeli surveillance drones have been spotted in Ukraine and Syria, the newspaper said.