Evidence of Iranian and UAE Drones Used in Sudan Conflict, BBC Investigation Finds

An investigation by BBC News Arabic has documented the use of foreign-made drones in the ongoing conflict in Sudan, highlighting their significant impact on the war’s dynamics. Evidence indicates that the Sudanese Army has deployed Iranian drones, while the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have utilized drones that can carry missiles, believed to be supplied by the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This development underscores the role of external support in altering the battlefield, with both sides receiving advanced technological assistance that violates a UN Security Council resolution.

  • BBC News Arabic’s investigation reveals the use of at least two types of Iranian drones by the Sudanese Army in its conflict with the RSF.
  • Evidence suggests the RSF has received modified commercial drones capable of carrying missiles, with origins traced back to the UAE.
  • Foreign-made drones have significantly altered the course of the war, offering precise targeting capabilities with minimal training.
  • Analysis by Dutch organization PAX identified the Iranian-made Mohajer-6 drone and a locally made version of the Iranian Ababil-3 drone in the conflict.
  • An Iranian Boeing 747, linked to the transportation of drones, made multiple trips to East Sudan during the same period the Iranian drones appeared in the conflict.
  • Sudan’s Sovereignty Council denies receiving weapons from Iran, attributing the presence of arms to the black market.
  • RSF drones have been shot down, dropping modified mortars with markings from Serbia, hinting at a complex network of arms supply involving the UAE.
  • A 2024 UN report accused the RSF of acquiring weapons from the UAE, a claim denied by a UAE government official.
  • The use of these drones by both the RSF and the Sudanese armed forces violates a 2005 UN Security Council resolution banning the supply of weapons to belligerents in West Sudan.
  • Following the deployment of Iranian drones, the Sudanese Army was able to break sieges and assert more control in several areas.
  • The conflict has caused massive internal displacement and civilian casualties, with calls for a comprehensive arms embargo and a peaceful resolution.
  • The BBC has sought comments from the Sudanese armed forces, the RSF, and Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs but has not received any responses.

The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster headquartered at Broadcasting House in London. Originally established in 1922 as the British Broadcasting Company, it evolved into its current state with its current name on New Year’s Day 1927.

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