Friday 4 December 2020

Winter in Afghanistan: US combat drones migrate south

Kabul (dpo) - This breathtakingly beautiful natural spectacle takes place every year at around the same time: US combat drones in Afghanistan and parts of Pakistan have begun flying south for the winter.

In winter, unmanned aerial vehicles are unable to find enough cannon fodder due to the harsh conditions in the north of these countries so they migrate southwards. The bitter cold can also harm the weapons and targeting systems on these cute killing machines.
The Afghan people have mixed feelings as they observe this phenomenon, “I quite like to watch it – but only from a safe distance”, explains amateur ornithologist Mohammad Afridi from the city of Kunduz. “I have already managed to photograph several General Atomics MQ-1 Predators, the odd MQ-1C Gray Eagle, and even the rare MQ-9A Reaper drone. The only ones missing are those damned stealth drones like the Lockheed Martin RQ-170 Sentinel – they are just impossible to catch on camera! At this rate, I will never complete my book of drones.”
Hamid Khan prefers to stay indoors during winter
However, in the southern city of Kandahar, people are not quite as enthusiastic about the new arrivals. As shepherd Hamid Khan points out, “Even in summer several few combat drones nest on the US military bases in the region. In winter, you hardly dare to leave the house to drive your livestock to pasture, let alone to celebrate a wedding.” Despite the milder climate, then, Southern Afghans like Hamid Khan prefer to stay indoors in winter and tell their children stories about the time before the drones arrived in their country.
ssi; first published 2018-12-07
Read the German version HERE.
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