Friday December 10, 2021
Mogadishu (HOL) - Somalia’s National Army has received reconnaissance drones from Turkey this week, according to a well-placed military source.
The shipment marked the first time Somalia received a batch of Turkey’s coveted drones.
The source added that the drones will not be armed with anti-tank missiles but will be used for reconnaissance and other intelligence-gathering operations.
Turkey has been arming and training Somalia’s army at Camp TurkSom - its extensive military base and defence university - in recent years, providing G3 assault rifles and armoured vehicles.
Turkish Bayraktar TB2 drones have been deployed in Syria, Libya, Armenia and have proven to be effective against their Russian counterparts. TB2’s performance in those theatres of war has gained the interest of many national militaries who have either already obtained the drones or have placed an order. According to the Turkish government, EU and NATO countries have also been interested in procuring the battle-tested drones
Part of the appeal of the Turkish TB2 is its ability to carry all ammunition types, including air-to-ground, cruise missiles, air-to-air at a height of up to 38,000 ft - a new record.
Turkey-trained Somali soldiers have, for years, been fighting against Al-Shabaab militants. Still, a drawn political crisis in Somalia has raised fears among international partners that the Somali military will be entangled in local conflicts.