Turkish Akinci Drone Located Iranian President’s Helicopter

An Akıncı UCAV conducts a flight above the Akıncı Flight Training and Test Center in the Çorlu district of Tekirdağ province, northwestern Turkey, Aug. 29, 2021. (AA Photo)

In a swift and coordinated rescue operation, a Turkish Akinci drone located the wreckage of the helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, providing critical information to Iranian authorities.

After receiving information that the helicopter carrying Raisi and other top officials had crashed, the Turkish Foreign Ministry forwarded to the National Defense Ministry a request by Iran for a night-vision search and rescue helicopter at 8 p.m. on Sunday, according to security sources.

Following this, a Cougar-type helicopter immediately moved from Türkiye’s eastern Diyarbakir province to Van province bordering Iran, said the sources on condition of anonymity.

The National Defense Ministry received approval from the Presidential Office at 10:20 p.m. for the use of a drone abroad.

Upon Iran’s acceptance of the offer, the drone took off from Türkiye’s eastern Batman province at 11:30 p.m. and reached the crash site at 00:45 a.m. to begin its operation.

During the reconnaissance and surveillance at the crash site, the information obtained was shared with Iranian authorities in real time.

At 02:36 a.m., the wreckage was spotted, and the coordinates of the wreckage were sent to the Iranian authorities.

Continuous coordination was maintained with all state institutions and Iranian authorities through embassies.

Having successfully completed its mission, Akinci returned to Turkish airspace at 6:45 a.m. on Monday.

President Raisi attended the inauguration ceremony for a dam on the Iran-Azerbaijan border on Sunday by helicopter.

Iranian state television reported that the accident occurred when Raisi’s helicopter made a hard landing while returning from the region.

Iranian Foreign Affairs Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Malik Rahmeti, the governor of East Azerbaijan Province, and Imam Ayatollah Ali Hashim of Tabriz province were also on board the helicopter.

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