The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) attempted to attack several targets inside and south of the capital of the southern Turkish province of Sirnak with seven small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), Turkish sources revealed on November 10
Local sources say #PKK attacked with 4 #UAV|s in Turkey’s border city Şırnak. The attack thwarted by Turkish security forces. The UAVs were carrying bombs and nails. pic.twitter.com/9eRQY3fPLJ
— Cemal Acar (@Acemal71) November 10, 2018
Experts said that the UAVs used in the attack are a modified variant of the X-UAV mini-Talon, which is a commercial drone. A small explosive payload and an enhanced GPS antenna were likely installed in the drones in order to turn them into precision-guided suicide UAVs.
A day later, the PKK claimed responsibility for the attack attempt in an official statement. The Kurdish group didn’t admit that it used suicide UAVs to carry out the attack. However, the statement said that a “new tactical and technical manner” was used.
According to the Turkish sources, the UAVs failed to reach their targets due to technical failures and possible jamming by the Turkish military. A map showing the UAVs crash sites indicates that they were launched from the Kurdish area in northern Iraq.
Reported locations of the Pkk’s swarm attack with model aircrafts which was carrying explosives to Turkey’s Şırnak city.
Pkk’nın Şırnak’da model uçaklarla yaptığı saldırılarda hedef aldığı bölgeler. Harita, basına yansıyan bilgilerden derlenmiştir hatalar olabilir. pic.twitter.com/rj9bwvg2Vn
— Cemal Acar (@Acemal71) November 11, 2018
The PKK ability to modify and operate such mini suicide UAVs pose a serious challenge to Turkey, which will likely face more and more similar attacks in the near future.