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Game of Drones: Carnage as Iraqi rival tribes battle it out using UAVs, missiles Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Game of Drones: Carnage as Iraqi rival tribes battle it out using UAVs, missiles

The use of drones in conflicts seems to be a first for the tribes [Archive/Getty]

Date of publication: 25 April, 2019

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A tribal conflict in southern Iraq has taken a leap into the modern world with drones being used to turn the tides of the battle in an apparent first.

A tribal conflict in southern Iraq has taken a leap into the modern world with drones being used to turn the tides of the battle in an apparent first.

The New Arab's Arabic-language service reported on Thursday that the Iraqi military has deployed to Basra province to contain the deadly clashes between the rival tribes.

Fighting between the Batout and the Hamadna tribes broke out last month in the Karmat Ali area north of Basra city, killing three people. The two Arab clans have long been at loggerheads.

A security source said that the latest clashes erupted after a police officer from one the tribes arrested a cleric belonging to the other faction on smuggling charges.

"This has become the worst tribal clash ever witnessed in the area because some of the tribesmen are military personnel," the source said.

"They have used shells, rockets, heavy weaponry and drones in the battle," he added.

Social media users have uploaded footage claiming to be of the clashes and the aftermath of shelling.

Southern Iraq, where tribal influence and weapons are widespread, has long been the scene of violent fighting between the various tribes.

The use of off-the-shelf drones in the conflicts seems to be a first for the tribes and comes after the Islamic State group and the Iraqi military utilised them to drop bomblets and grenades on each other during the campaign against the jihadists.

It is unclear if the tribes are using drones to drop explosives or for reconnaissance operations.

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