Turkey is among the most advanced countries in the world when it comes to combat drone technology. Turkish drones have been game changers in Syria, Libya, and are currently flying missions in Ukraine. Most notably the Bayraktar TB2, which is a medium-altitude, long range tactical UAV, that can stay airborne 27 hours.
In 2019, Ukraine bought 6 Bayraktar TB2s and has plans to purchase 24 more. Turkey and Ukraine agreed in Feb of 2022 to coproduce the popular Turkish-made drone at a site in Ukraine.
The use of the TB2s on Russian backed separatists in eastern Ukraine has angered Moscow. Recently, the Ukrainian Embassy in Ankara stated that one of its TB2s was used in a strike which targeted a Russian convoy in southern Ukraine. Brett Forrest and Jared Malsin of the WSJ reported that the embassy called it, “Divine Justice” for a Russian airstrike that killed 34 Turkish soldiers in Syria on this date two years ago.” They write (abridged):
The chief of Ukraine’s air force, Lt. Gen. Mykola Oleshchuk, called the Bayraktar TB2 drones “life-giving” in a Facebook post.
A video posted on Twitter by the Ukrainian Embassy in Ankara showed a convoy of more than a dozen vehicles consumed by a fireball and a plume of smoke. The embassy tweeted two more videos taken out the window of a moving vehicle showing the charred wreckage of military vehicles.
#Ukrayna Genelkurmay Başkanı –
— Ukraine in Turkey (@UKRinTR) February 27, 2022
The Ukrainian air force confirmed that one of these videos depicted the result of a TB2 strike in the town of Chornobaivka, in southern Ukraine, an area that has experienced serious fighting over the past couple of days.
“Never a rose without a thorn,” the embassy wrote in one of the tweets. “Russian invaders have to put up with Bayraktar TB2s.”
The embassy called the strike “divine justice” for a Russian airstrike that killed 34 Turkish soldiers in Syria on this date two years ago.
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