Russia, Iran agree to build drones on Russian soil for war in Ukraine: report

Moscow and Tehran have reached an agreement to manufacture drones on Russian soil to boost their war effort in Ukraine after months of relentless bombing of civilian sites, the Washington Post said on Saturday.

Fox News couldn’t immediately reach the Pentagon for comment, but according to the report, US intelligence officials recently learned of the agreement reached by the two nations in early November.

The US first revealed Iranian plans to “gift” hundreds of Shahed-136 drones to Russia earlier this year, and by August 1,000 Iranian-supplied drones were shipped to Russia before being dropped over civilian targets in Ukraine.

FILE - Firefighters work on buildings after a drone strike in Kyiv, Ukraine, October 17, 2022.

FILE – Firefighters work on buildings after a drone strike in Kyiv, Ukraine, October 17, 2022.
(AP Photo/Roman Hrytsyna, file)

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The deal apparently coincided with Russia’s defeat in Kherson earlier this month, when it withdrew its forces from the capital, marking its biggest military loss since withdrawing from Kharkiv in September.

It’s unclear which drone design will be used for production in Russia, but officials from both nations are working on key components of the transfer, according to the report, and plan to have manufacturing up and running within three months.

According to reports, 400 drones were dropped over various targets in Ukraine, hitting civilian neighborhoods, villages, cities and the country’s energy infrastructure.

Russia has stepped up its airstrikes in recent months, while its ground forces continue to suffer setbacks as Ukrainian forces push the front lines farther east.

A drone is launched during a military exercise at an undisclosed location in Iran, as seen in this August 25, 2022 handout picture.

A drone is launched during a military exercise at an undisclosed location in Iran, as seen in this August 25, 2022 handout picture.
(West Asia News Agency/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo)

NATO says Russia is “ultimately responsible” for deaths in Poland that may have been caused by air-defense missiles

Since Nov. 11, Russia has fired about 150 missiles and over 25 kamikaze drones against Ukraine, Ukraine’s Deputy Chief of General Staff Oleksii Hromov said on Thursday.

Over 100 of the airstrikes carried out over the six days were blocked by Ukrainian air defenses.

But Russia’s recent deal with Tehran could not only increase its ability to produce more drones, but also rapidly increase the time it would take to retool its troops both in Ukraine and in border regions in Russia and Belarus.

In this image released by the official website of the Office of Iran's Supreme Leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (center) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) greet each other during their meeting in Tehran, while Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on the right is , Iran, Tuesday, July 19, 2022.

In this image released by the official website of the Office of Iran’s Supreme Leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (center) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) greet each other during their meeting in Tehran, while Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on the right is , Iran, Tuesday, July 19, 2022.
(Iranian Supreme Leader’s Office via AP)

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Ukraine has asked its Western allies to help it improve its air defenses since the war began – a request that has become increasingly urgent given Russia’s heavy reliance on air strikes.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said this week that he and the nearly 50 other allied nations that make up the Ukraine Contact Group wanted to send Ukraine the “right mix” of air defenses and weapons to prevent Russia from gaining air superiority.

The news that Moscow will increase its drone production also comes just three days after a Ukrainian air defense system crashed over NATO borders, killing two in Poland, after Russia fired missiles at western Ukraine.

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