Iranian military instructors present in Crimea, US says
Iranian drone attacks Ukraine (Photo:Roman Petushkov/Reuters)
The United States has evidence of Iranian military instructors being present in Russia-occupied Crimea, helping Russian troops launch drone strikes against Ukraine, U.S. National Security spokesman John Kirby told AP on Oct. 20.
Kirby specified that Iran dispatched a "relatively small number" of personnel to Crimea to assist Russian forces in using Iranian-made kamikaze drones against Ukraine.
“The information we have is that the Iranians have put trainers and tech support in Crimea, but it’s the Russians who are doing the piloting,” Kirby said.
He added that the White House is considering imposing new sanctions on Tehran, and will look for ways to make it harder for Iran to continues selling weapons to Russia.
U.S. media reports first said Iran was supplying Russia with Shahed-136 kamikaze drones back in August. Iran repeatedly denied it provides any kind of military assistance to Moscow in its war of aggression against Ukraine.
Russia is using Iranian drones to attack Ukraine's energy infrastructure and terrorize civilians. The attacks have since knocked out nearly 30% of Ukraine’s power grid.
Kyiv is considering severing diplomatic ties with Tehran over its apparent involvement in the war on Russia’s side.
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