Baghdad: The Iraqi army is giving ISIS a taste of its own medicine by bombing them with shuttlecock grenades attached to drones.
The feathered tails, usually found on badminton courts across the world, are being attached to the grenades in order to keep them balanced when they fall to ensure a more accurate explosion.
ISIS had previously been using the tactic to drop bombs on coalition forces and civilians in Iraq, but after seeing their effectiveness, the weapons are now in the hands of their opposition.
Terrorists have used small commercial drones to drop explosives on advancing Iraqi forces since they launched the offensive to retake Iraq’s second city in October.
As the battle now focuses on recapturing west Mosul, Colonel Hussein Muayad’s federal police forces have adopted the tactic, equipping their own remote-controlled surveillance drones with 40 mm grenades that are usually fired from grenade launchers.
‘Residents would stare at the sky during the Mosul fighting, fearing IS drones,’ Nuayad said. ‘Now it’s the enemy whose eyes never leave the sky. ‘They used to hit us once. But we can hit them up to four times with a single drone
Lieutenant General Raed Shaker Jawdat of the federal police – who are taking part in the battle alongside a special forces unit – says the new tactic has been very effective.
‘Dozens of terrorists have been killed and wounded. Jihadist movements have been paralysed,’ Jawdat says.
The weapons are oblong explosive devices tipped by small, rounded grenades with a pin near one end and a netted skirt taken from a badminton shuttlecock on the other.
‘That’s so it keeps its balance as it falls,’ Muayad says. Live footage from the drones can be screened back to the army’s commanding officers for them to pinpoint their targets.
The devices have been equipped with an extra battery to prolong their flight time and can now cover a distance of eight kilometres (five miles) up from less than five kilometres (three miles) before.