Kyiv is reportedly asking Western allies for long-range weapons to hit kamikaze drone production facilities in Iran and Syria, as well as a possible future facility in Russia, after finding extensive use of Western components in drones striking Ukraine.
A Guardian report on Wednesday says that it has obtained a copy of a 47-page confidential document, shared with Western allies by Ukraine in August, that has identified the widespread use of components acquired from European and other Western companies in Iranian-produced drones.
The document reportedly details the use of over 600 Iranian Shahed 131 and 136 kamikaze unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the previous three months. Examination of the remains of these UAVs has reportedly identified that 52 electrical components manufactured by Western companies were found in the Shahed-131 drone and 57 in the Shahed-136.
The report says that these components originate from manufacturers within countries that ostensibly are part of the “sanctions coalition” against Russia including the US, UK, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, Canada, Japan, and Poland.
While Ukraine does not suggest any wrongdoing on the part of Western companies it notes that “Iranian UAV production has adapted and mostly uses available commercial components, the supply of which is poorly controlled or not controlled at all.” Ukraine has suggested in the past that sanctions on such material should also be imposed on Iran.
Ukrainian intelligence agencies believe that Iran has already diversified its production to factories in Syria and is developing a facility in the central Russian region of Yelabuga; an assertion that had been confirmed by the ISW in June.
It is also claimed that Tehran is currently continuing to supply the components but the Iranian government is trying to “disassociate itself from providing Russia with weapons” as it “cannot cope with Russian demand and the intensity of use in Ukraine.”
As part of its conclusions to the document, the Kyiv government makes a plea for Western allies to provide Ukraine with the capability to carry out, “missile strikes on the production plants of these UAVs in Iran, Syria, as well as on the potential production site in the Russian Federation.”
It goes on to say that this would only be made possible if its partners provided the necessary means of carrying out the destruction, the Guardian reported.
In light of the continuing reluctance to provide Kyiv with weapons that could even theoretically strike Russian territory, it seems improbable that the request will be met.
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