Thailand’s military government says it plans to deploy drones to the insurgency-stricken Deep South for reconnaissance flights to alert army patrols and other security personnel to imminent rebel attacks and roadside bombings.
The military will deploy at least three unarmed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, to carry out eye-in-the-sky surveillance in dozens of districts in the southern border region as a way to reduce casualties among more than 60,000 troops stationed there, officials said this week.
“I intend to use three to four drones … in the 37 districts of the Deep South to do reconnaissance and attack-related intelligence work before the soldiers would reach the ground,” Deputy Defense Minister Gen. Udomdej Sitabutr told reporters in Bangkok.
“The insurgents are not far away from the kill zone to trigger the bombs,” he added.
The deputy defense minister touched on the plan to use UAVs while announcing that the government planned to allocate 13.2 billion baht (U.S. $397.5 million) for the next fiscal year in order to tackle unrest in the Deep South and other regional challenges.
Udomdej also heads a so-called forward cabinet appointed by Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha to deal specifically with matters in the far south.
Between October 2016 and September 2017, as many as 233 soldiers, policemen and defense volunteers have been killed in roadside bombings and other types of ambushes laid by insurgents in the Deep South, according to the regional office of Thailand’s Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC).
Full story: BenarNews
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