North of Isfahan, terrorists from all over the Middle East are being taught how to fly UAVs.
By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News
Defense Minister Benny Gantz revealed during a conference Sunday the presence of a secret training base in Iran whose specialty is teaching terrorists throughout the region how to fly unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
Speaking at the Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the Reichman University (IDC Herzliya), Gantz said, “The Kashan base located north of the city of Isfahan is used to train terrorists from Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. These terrorists are trained to employ UAVs produced by Iran. This base is a key point from which Iranian aerial terrorism is exported to the region.”
According to the defense minister, dozens of the “deadly, accurate weapons that, like a ballistic missile or airplane, can cross thousands of kilometers,” have been already exported to Iran’s terror proxy, Hezbollah, in southern Lebanon. In another point of direct concern to Israel, “Iran is also attempting to transfer the know-how needed for UAV production to Gaza,” both to Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), he said. The PIJ is under Iran’s direct control, while Hamas, being Sunni Moslem, is more of an ally with convergent interests.
The aerial terror threat that Iran is honing is region-wide, Gantz stressed. Dozens of the UAVs have also gone to its Houthi proxies in Yemen, who have used them in recent months against Saudi Arabia. Hundreds more have been sent to the groups that the Islamic Republic backs in Syria, which is still divided into regions controlled by diverse and opposing forces such as Turkey, Russia and the Syrian government, and the United States.
Dozens more are in the hands of Iran-backed forces in Iraq as well, according to Gantz. This is a threat to American forces and those of its allies that has already been realized in the country’s Kurdistan region, as they have been the target of drones allegedly operated by such proxies for the past several months.
Just on Saturday night, the regional government’s foreign media spokesperson wrote that the capital Erbil’s “international airport has been attacked with a drone tonight,” which is where allied troops are stationed. Several local news reports had multiple explosions being been heard in the area, including the air defense measures taken by the soldiers on the ground. No casualties were reported in this latest incident.
Iran’s malign influence will only get stronger unless the world unites against it, said Gantz, because it is “callously breaching the [nuclear] agreement to which it is still obligated and…is closer than ever before to an amount of enriched uranium that will bring it to the brink of becoming a nuclear state.” This will lead to a global arms race and an even greater increase in the threat of terrorism, and “is a threat to the whole world, and to the region, that must not be allowed in any way.”
“Iran does not honor the agreements it has signed,” he warned, “and there is no reason to believe that it will honor any future agreements. The time has come for action. I call on the countries that are still members of the nuclear agreement to impose the sanctions set out in the agreement.”