According to Tigrayan sources ten drones supplied by Turkey are being built in Addis Ababa with the support of Turkish technicians.
The director-general of INSA – Temesgen Tiruneh – is reportedly in overall charge of the programme, and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is said to visit the site frequently.
The agency is said to be building a runway from which the drones can be launched, about ten kilometres from the centre of Addis.
Drones in the Tigray war
There have been previous reports that drones were being used in the Tigray war, being flown from UAE bases in Eritrea.
Bellingcat concluded in November 2020 that: “In sum, the claims made by the Tigray forces are not impossible, but so far they seem improbable.
Satellite imagery confirms the presence of Chinese-produced drones at the UAE’s military base in Assab, but that is all it confirms. There is currently no further evidence that these same drones have been involved in operations in support of the Ethiopian airforce, though there have been confirmed sightings of Ethiopian jet fighters in the conflict zone.”
But the current report is different – quoting first hand accounts by people who have seen the drones currently under construction.