Serbian Army explains "mysterious drones"

Unmanned aerial vehicles were flown over Serbia in late March, the country's interior minister confirmed at the time.

Source: Sputnik
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(Thinkstock)
(Thinkstock)

But so far there has been no official explanation about whose drones those were.

Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic at the time responded to questions in the Assembly about media reports that "drones had been flying over Serbia" - to say they had not been shot down "because it was estimated they were not a threat to the security of Serbia."

There has not been "a more official" explanation until now - at least not when it comes to whom those drones belonged, and what recordings they took. However, Sputnik has now received information from the Ministry of Defense about the "mysterious" drones.

Namely, according to the website, the ministry said the appearance of these aircraft "could be related to illegal activities, the transfer of migrants by organized crime groups across the state border, smuggling of goods, narcotics, activities of lumberjacks (timber thieves) and others engaged in illegal activities."

It has also been confirmed that Serbian Army units deployed in the Ground Safety Zone (along the administrative line with Kosovo) registered on several occasions the appearance of small drones, which, they emphasize, can be bought over the counter.

The ministry said that the Army did not react "because very clear procedures are in place to act upon in case the state's sovereignty is violated and in case air safety is endangered."

"Bearing in mind the fact that these drones were not observed in the immediate vicinity of military facilities, that they had very modest possibilities in terms of reconnaissance, and had no possibility to carry lethal devices, they did not pose a threat to the security of the country, although each case has been analyzed in detail, from all aspects. In the concrete case, the safety of citizens and property of the Republic of Serbia has not been compromised," the Defense Ministry said.

They also add that, in cooperation with SMATSA, the (civil) air traffic service of Serbia and Montenegro - they "continuously and reliably control and protect the sovereignty of the airspace of the Republic of Serbia"- and they also told Sputnik who and on what basis assesses whether the security of the state is endangered.

As explained, each appearance of an unidentified aircraft is analyzed by "competent authorities - and in accordance with their conclusions, measures are taken to prevent any surprises, and increase the level of effectiveness and efficiency of the system of airspace control and protection."

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