Joint operations carried out by the United States and local militias have arrested the progress of the ISIS in eastern Syria but, the terrorist group has modified its strategy. It now deploys multiple small drones at a time to take the opposition by surprise. It seems the group procured these robotic weapons online and launched them in dozens to drop crude bombs on US troops in both Iraq and Syria.

This change of tactic of Islamic State on the battlefield, against sophisticated missile-firing drones, has become a matter of concern for the planners.

Counter-terrorism experts realize that this trend must be arrested to prevent future attacks.

The threat of miniature drones

Los Angeles Times reports that government forces had recaptured the city of Mosul in July but, in the process, many of the troops died or suffered injuries from drone attacks. ISIS used these drones to drop small size bombs on the soldiers. The US commander likened the sheer numbers to a swarm of killer bees. Officials of the United States have agreed that this is believed to be the first time that it has been outwitted on the battlefield. Experts caution that easy availability of small size commercial drones is a major threat.

Islamic State, apparently, has a setup that procures these from various sources and upgrades them to improve maneuverability and drop crude bombs on the opposition.

During the battle for Mosul, the number of such drones was high. The occurrences have, since, reduced and U.S. military task force in Baghdad confirmed that these are visible even now in the skies of Iraq and Syria.

Military think tank is worried

Agencies that are responsible to ensure national security appear to be baffled at these developments.

FBI Director Christopher Wray admits that terrorist organizations like Islamic State are using drones in their activities overseas and it is possible that they could import the concept into the United States.

Nicholas Rasmussen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, has indicated that his agency is seized of the problem and is examining methods to defend against miniature drones used in terrorist attacks.

He also said that this robotic weapon has added a new dimension. Two years ago it was not there, last year it was an emerging trend and today it is a serious one.

Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has clarified that miniature drones is an emerging threat and the Pentagon is working on options to neutralize the menace. It used electronic jammers in Iraq to shoot down such weapons or neutralize them and there are other options under consideration. These include lasers to disable an airborne drone or guns that can fire small nets to nab them in the air.

Obviously, the ISIS drones have set the pace for robotic warfare and the United States and others will have to evolve solutions.