Chinese Wing Loong Drones Disguised As Wind Turbines Seized By Italy

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Italian authorities have intercepted Chinese military drones camouflaged as wind turbines. The drones, which were intended for Libya in violation of a United Nations embargo, were seized at the Port of Gioia Tauro in Italy.

The discovery was made when Italian tax police and customs officials inspected six containers that arrived on two ships from China. These containers held components for two drones, carefully hidden among replicas of wind turbine blades to evade detection. The authorities noted that one of the drones bore the slogan “The energy saving world” along its side, a misleading label intended to mask the true nature of its cargo.

The drones were reportedly en route to Benghazi, intended for General Khalifa Hifter, who controls eastern Libya. Since the downfall of former ruler Col. Moammar Gadhafi in 2011, Libya has been embroiled in civil conflict, leading to a U.N. embargo on the sale of armaments to the country.

The seized drones match the description of Chinese Wing Loong II unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). These UAVs are substantial in size, each measuring over 10 meters (33 feet) in length, with a wingspan of approximately 20 meters (66 feet), and weighing more than 3 tons. The Wing Loong II is known for its capabilities in surveillance and strike missions, making it a potent asset in military conflicts.

China’s attempt to smuggle these drones into Libya, masked as wind turbines, is a blatant violation of international law. This incident highlights the lengths to which China is willing to go to circumvent global regulations and fuel ongoing conflicts. Such actions not only undermine international peace efforts but also compromise the integrity of global arms control agreements.