Somalia has acknowledged the use of Turkish drones in the recent offensive against Al Shabaab fighters in central and southern Somalia.
Interior Minister of Somalia Ahmed Moalim Fiqi acknowledged the use of the “Bayraktar TB2,” a well-known name in the field of military technology, in an interview with Universal TV.
“Many nations showed their support for the Somali people when it became apparent that they were ready to rise up and fight. Other governments are providing intelligence support, and Turkey has joined the offensive by providing air support “. He continued by stating that airstrikes by US forces in support of government forces had also been conducted.
The Turkish military has not explicitly confirmed or denied its involvement in the offensive, and the minister declined to provide more information about the strikes due to operational security.
The SNA’s current offensive, which has taken control of numerous villages and claimed the lives of hundreds of alleged Al Shabaab fighters, is arguably the most successful in a decade.
Reliable military sources claim that Somalia received its first shipment of Turkish drones in December 2021. According to reports, those drones were not equipped with anti-tank missiles and were only used for reconnaissance.
Turkey has joined the United States, Israel, China, and Iran as one of the top drone powers in the world thanks to the highly coveted drone, pronounced “bye-rack-tar,” which in Turkish means “standard bearer.” Turkish defence and aerospace exports in the first half of 2022 reached a record high of nearly $2 billion, up 48 percent from the same period in 2021, according to official statistics released this summer.
The TB2 can stay in the air for up to 27 hours and soar as high as 7,600m (25,000ft). It has space onboard for laser-guided micro missiles.
Analysts claim that while the $32 million US-made Reaper drone can outperform the TB2 drone, the latter is significantly more expensive ($5 million per aircraft), making the latter a better overall value.