Iranian military personnel on ground in Crimea; backing Russia to target Ukraine with drones: US
We can confirm that Russian military personnel stationed in Crimea have been piloting Iranian UAVs, which have been used to conduct strikes across Ukraine, including strikes against Kyiv in recent days, said John Kirby, NSC Coordinator for Strategic Communications.
The United States has claimed that Russian military personnel stationed in Crimea have been piloting Iranian drones. Additionally, it will use all available means to expose, deter, and confront Iran's use of these weapons against the Ukrainian people.
According to John Kirby, NSC Coordinator for Strategic Communications, there is clear evidence that Iranian military personnel are on the ground in Crimea.
We can confirm that Russian military personnel based in Crimea have been piloting Iranian UAVs, which have been used to conduct strikes across Ukraine, including strikes against Kyiv in recent days, said Kirby while talking to media during a conference call.
We believe that Iranian military personnel were present in Crimea and aided Russia in its operations. He added that Russia has already received dozens of UAVs and will most likely receive more in the future.
Furthermore, he said that the US is concerned that Russia may seek to acquire advanced conventional weapons from Iran, such as surface-to-surface missiles, which will almost certainly be used to support the war against Ukraine.
There is ample evidence of their use by Russia against both military and civilian targets. Nonetheless, Iran and Russia continue to deny providing weapons to Russia for use in Ukraine. He said Iran and Russia could mislead the world, but they can't hide the facts.
He also claimed that Tehran is now directly involved on the ground, supplying weapons that are affecting civilians and civilian infrastructure in Ukraine, killing civilians and destroying civilian infrastructure in Ukraine.
So, to be clear, the US will use all available means to expose, deter, and confront Iran's use of these weapons against the Ukrainian people. Kirby said they would continue to enforce all US sanctions on the Russian and Iranian arms trades.
We will make it more difficult for Iran to sell these weapons to Russia. We will provide the Ukrainians with the tools they need to defend themselves against these threats. And additionally, "we will continue to stand with our partners throughout the Middle East region against the Iranian threat."
In response to a question, he said that the Defense Department is currently looking into potential air defence solutions for Ukrainians. He stated that the DOD is well aware of the threat and is working hard to see what they can do to assist the Ukrainians in dealing with it.
(With inputs from PTI)