On March 5, an Iranian Ababil-3 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was shot down over the northern Aleppo countryside with an anti-aircraft missile.
Opposition activists shared a video showing the missile hitting the UAV over the town of Darat Izza. The activists said that a man-portable air-defense system (MANPAD), likely a U.S.-made FIM-92 Stinger, was used to down the UAV.
— Qalaat Al Mudiq (@QalaatAlMudiq) March 5, 2020
The Ababil-3 has a range of 100 km and an endurance of up to 4 hours. An estimated 217 UAVs of this type have been built as of July 2019. It’s still unclear if the UAV was being operated by Iranian forces or the Syrian Arab Army (SAA).
The UAV was likely downed by the Turkish military, not by the militants as some activists had claimed. Turkish service members were spotted using Stinger MANPADs in Greater Idlib, last month. The Turkish Armed Forces also deployed several Atilgan pedestal-mounted air defence missile system (PMADS) in the Syrian region.
A day earlier, the militants launched a large attack in Aleppo with support from the Turkish military, which established several “observation posts” in the area recently. The attack was completely repelled by the SAA.