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立中台危機:歐盟因分歧似乎無力應對中國的貿易脅迫

中國就立陶宛允許設立台灣代表處一事對歐盟經濟施壓,已經引發了歐盟內部的分歧,也令人再次質疑歐盟是否有能力保護其巨大市場免受中國壓力影響。

據華爾街日報今天報道說,歐盟似乎無力應對中國的貿易脅迫。據美國和歐洲官員稱,中國最近幾周實際上將立陶宛企業拒之門外,並開始向有立陶宛供應商的歐洲和美國公司施壓,要求切斷這種供應關係,否則可能遭遇抵制。
中國這些施壓行動的起因是,去年11月份台政府在立陶宛首都以“台灣”名義設立代表處,北京稱此舉是一個“惡劣先例”並誓言反擊。大多數台灣在海外的辦事處都以“台北”名義開設。這些從未正式對外宣布的中國經濟舉措表明,雖然歐盟不斷加大力度遏制中國經濟行為對其市場的影響,但中國仍然有能力避開這些舉措。歐盟成員國實行統一的貿易政策。
自2019年以來,歐盟宣布了一系列政策,旨在幫助歐洲企業與中國對手展開競爭、以及在中國市場贏得話語權。
然而,歐洲各國政府對中國向立陶宛施壓的反應卻很平淡。一些外交人員對這個波羅的海國家在台灣問題上挑戰北京方面的決定持批評態度,對於中國國家主席習近平而言,這是一個政治問題。其他人則試圖避免與中國的對峙升級。
美國官員譴責中國的施壓策略時更為積極。
周二,立陶宛總統瑙塞達(Gitanas Nauseda)說,政府允許以台灣名義設立代表處是個錯誤。去年,作為美國在北大西洋公約組織(North Atlantic Treaty Organization, 簡稱﹕北約)的盟友,立陶宛也成為第一個退出17+1集團的國家;該集團是中國與一些國家建立政治和經濟關係的論壇,主要是較小的歐洲國家。
瑙塞達向立陶宛一家電台表示:“我認為錯誤並非允許台灣開設代表處,而是錯在其名稱,這個名稱沒有與我協調。”他說:“現在我們必須應對後果,立陶宛已開始遭遇非常規措施,我們必須非常積極,並向歐盟發出非常明確的信號,表明這是一種攻擊,是對一個歐盟國家的一種施壓。”
立陶宛官員已在最高層面提出了這個問題,包括在去年12月舉行的歐盟領導人峰會上。周二晚間,歐盟委員會(European Commission)主席馮德萊恩(Ursula von der Leyen)與立陶宛總理討論了這一局勢。馮德萊恩隨後發表推文稱,她已經向立陶宛提供了全力支持,“以解決目前與中國的貿易摩擦”。
到目前為止,歐盟調解的努力都未成功。歐盟已警告稱,可能會將中國與立陶宛之間的爭端提交給世界貿易組織(World Trade Organization, 簡稱WTO)解決,但該機構的任何行動可能都需要數年時間。
據該報道,中國的舉措是對歐盟的現實檢驗。歐盟官員們曾充滿信心,認為他們正在增加對中國的經濟籌碼。儘管中歐間日均貿易額達10億歐元(約合11.3億美元),而且歐洲在中國的投資規模龐大,但面對官員們承認的中國的脅迫,歐盟似乎無能為力。
然而,歐盟和立陶宛官員表示,歐盟一些較大成員國,包括與中國有着深厚經濟關係的法國和德國,一直在努力避免與中國的緊張關係升級。上個月,德國新任總理朔爾茨(Olaf Scholz)在與習近平的首次通話中聲稱要加強德中經貿聯繫。
立陶宛外交人員說,一些歐洲國家政府的反應是,這是一個需要妥協的雙邊問題。
華爾街日報引述歐洲經濟智庫Bruegel的高級研究員Alicia García-Herrero警告說,如果歐盟現在不能發揮其作為中國主要出口市場的集體經濟力量,北京方面可能會加大施壓力度。她說,最終,如果歐盟不能保護規模較小的成員國,那麼它在貿易政策方面的權威將被削弱。歐洲經濟智庫Bruegel的高級研究員Alicia García-Herrero說,“歐盟至少可以說,立陶宛的出口就是歐洲的出口,任何針對立陶宛出口的行動都是針對歐洲出口的行動,” García-Herrero說,“沒有人說過這樣的話。”

率先向 Apache 通報 Log4j 漏洞 阿里雲被工信部指未及時匯報罰停合作關係 6 個月 | 立場報道 | 立場新聞

網絡程式語言 Java 早前爆出世紀大漏洞 Log4j,率先發現並向 Log4j 所屬非牟利組織 Apache 基金會匯報的是阿里巴巴旗下阿里雲的安全團隊,大陸媒體「南方財經全媒體」報道,阿里雲因此事被工業和信息化部網絡安全管理局(工信部)指「未及時向電信主管部門報告」,罰阿里雲暫停同工信部的合作 6 個月,並根據阿里雲的整改情況,決定是否再度錄用。

被形容為可能是電腦史上最大漏洞的 Log4j 事件於 11 月 24 日揭發,當時阿里雲一名隸屬安全團隊的員工 Chen Zhaojun (筆名) 向專門支援開源(open source)軟件專案的 Apache 基金會發了一封電郵:「我要匯報一個安全漏洞,這漏洞可導致嚴重後果。」他之後在電郵闡釋黑客可以怎樣利用 Log4j 的漏洞,遙控遭入侵的電腦,使之成為殭屍網絡,或竊取用戶資料。

Apache 旗下一群志願程式員立即投入修復工作,希望在外界未得知這世紀漏洞前研究出補救措施。12 月 8 日,他們再次收到 Chen Zhaojun 的電郵,又是一次噩耗:「部分 WeChat (微信)安全聊天群組已在討論這個漏洞的細節,一些安全人員已發現漏洞。我們答允在你們未發布官方修復方案前保密事件,請快點。」

根據網絡安全公司 Cloudflare 行政總裁 Matthew Prince 表示,當時已有不少黑客利用 Log4j 的漏洞四出攻擊,其實早於 12 月 1 日,相關攻擊行動已顯著增加。在收到 Chen Zhaojun 第二封電郵後大約 20 小時,Apache 公布修復方案,引發全球黑客,包括「國家級」黑客團隊出動,大規模攻擊。

根據工信部官網的通告,當局於 12 月 9 日收到有關 Log4j 的報告,立即召集阿里雲、網絡安全企業、網絡安全專業機構等開會,「通報督促阿帕奇軟件基金會(即 Apache)及時修補該漏洞」,並向行業發布預警。

大陸於今年 7 月發布《網絡產品安全漏洞管理規定》,當中第7條指出,網絡產品提供者在發現安全漏洞後,要在 2 日內向工信報匯報。第 9 條提到「不得將未公開的網絡產品安全漏洞信息向網絡產品提供者之外的境外組織织或者個人提供。」

南方財經全媒體的報道指,工信部認為阿里雲作為工信部安全威脅信息平台合作單位,在發現 Log4j 組件嚴重安全隱患後,未有及時向電信主管部門匯報,未有效支撑工信部開展網絡安全威脅和漏洞管理。決定暫停阿里雲作為合作單位 6 個月。期滿後需根據阿里雲的整改情況,研究是否恢復合作。

報道引述白帽子開發者平台「火綫安全」的數據, Log4j 漏洞影響超過 6 萬個開源軼件,涉及相關版本軟件包超過 32 萬。

Microsoft forked MIT licensed repo and changed the copyright [fixed]

@@ -1,21 +1,21 @@

MIT License

MIT License

Copyright (c) 2020 LesnyRumcajs

Copyright (c) Microsoft Corporation.

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy

of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal

in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights

to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell

copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is

furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy

of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal

in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights

to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell

copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is

furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all

copies or substantial portions of the Software.

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all

copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR

IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY,

FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE

AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER

LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM,

OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE

SOFTWARE.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR

IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY,

FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE

AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER

LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM,

OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE

SOFTWARE

All the giant companies used ffmpeg

When I started at Oculus, I didn't have any experience with the practicalities of video at scale, and I was a little surprised when I found that all the giant companies used the open source ffmpeg project in their backends. I expected some unique combination of commercial and \
— John Carmack (@ID_AA_Carmack) May 7, 2020

Dear Self; We Need To Talk About Social Media

Last year I discovered, much to my chagrin, that always-on internet socializing was costly for me. This was inconvenient both because I’d spent rather a lot of time singing the praises of social media and instant messaging, and because we were in the middle of a global pandemic that had made online socializing an almost physical necessity. I made the decision at the time to put off changing my social media diet, and that was correct. But now there is in-person socializing again, and I’m changing how I use social media and messaging. I wanted to talk about this process and how great it was for me, but kept being nagged by the thought that the internet was full of essays about how the internet is bad, all of which I ignored or actively fought with, so what was going to make mine so special? 

I decided to use the one thing I had that none of the other writers did: a detailed understanding of my past self. So I wrote a letter to past me, explaining how social media was costlier than she knew (even though she was right about all of the benefits), and how she could test that for herself to make a more informed decision. To help as many Elizabeths as possible, I tried to make the letter cover a wide range in time, although in practice it’s mostly focused on post-smart-phone life.

Dear Past Elizabeth,
I know you have read a lot of things calling social media bad. Your reasons for disagreeing with them are correct: social media has been an incredible gift to you, you have dodged many of the problems they’re describing, and you’re right to value it highly. You’re also right that many of the people bragging about how hard they are to communicate with are anti-socially shifting the burden of communication to other people.

But.

Social media (and always-on instant messaging, which is a different, mostly worse, problem) has some costs you’re not currently tracking. I would like to help you understand those costs, so you can make different choices on the margin that leave you happier while preserving the benefits you get from social media, not all of which you’ve even experienced yet (is it 2015 yet? Approximately every job you get from this point on will have your blog as a partial cause. After 2017 you won’t even have interviews, people will just say “I read your blog”).

To be more specific: you have indeed curated your feed such that Facebook is not making you angry on purpose. You are not ruining relationships getting in public fights. You are not even ruining your mood from seeing dumb stuff very often. Much of what you see is genuinely interesting and genuinely connective, and that’s great. The people you connect with are indeed great, and you are successfully transitioning online connections into offline. I’m not asking you to give that up, just to track the costs associated with the gains, and see what you can do on the margins to get more benefits at less cost. To that end I’m going to give you a model of why internet socializing is costly, and some tools to track those costs.

I’m not sure how far back this letter is going, so I’m going to try to address a wide range of ways you might be right now. Also, if it’s late 2019 or early 2020, you can just put this letter on a shelf for a bit. If it’s mid 2020 and you’re confused by this, congratulations on being in the better timeline.

Currently you’re calculating your costs and benefits by measuring the difference in your mood from the time you receive a notification to the time you act on it. It’s true that that change is on average positive, and sometimes exceedingly so. But it ignores the change from the moment before you received the notification to the moment after. Notifications are pretty disruptive to deep thoughts, and you pay that cost before you even notice. But momentary disruptions aren’t even the whole cost, because the knowledge that interruptions could come at every time will change your mental state. 

It’s as if you had a system that delivered electric shocks to notify you that food was newly available. You are right that you need food to live, and a system that delivers it to you is good. But electric shocks are still unpleasant, and fear of electric shocks will limit the states you will allow your brain to get into. You can’t write off the costs of electric shocks just because food is good, and because most criticisms of the system focus on the food being bad. I know you’re on board with the general principle behind this analogy, because you already believe it for open offices, and that people who find open offices costless are fooling themselves. I’m so sorry to be the one to tell you that you are exactly the same, only with messaging instead of shared offices.

The easiest way to see this is to get yourself in a state where you can’t be interrupted, and observe your mood then. There is an incredibly beautiful, relaxing state I call Quiet that you are definitely not experiencing often enough. Once you have reached that state, you can observe how your mood changes as you move into a state where you can be interrupted, and again as you are interrupted. 

Noticing these changes and their signifiance requires a certain minimum level of ability to emotionally introspect. If you don’t have this yet, developing it is your highest priority- not just for concerns around social media, but for your life in general. Building emotional introspection was a very gradual process for me, so it’s hard to give you instructions. In this timeline I had guidance from specific individuals which may not be replicable, but something in the space of somatic experiencing therapy is probably helpful. Waking the Tiger and The Body Keeps the Score are the classically recommended books. They’re pretty focused on trauma, which is not actually the goal here, but oh well. Other people report success doing this with meditation, but it never seemed to work for me. 

Once you have that awareness, you want to practice getting in and out of Quiet so you can notice the changes in your feelings. I’ve included a few activities for producing Quiet, just to gesture at the concept, and a longer list at the end of this letter. 

Unless otherwise stated, a given activity needs to be the only thing you are doing, and you need to have disabled all potential interruptions, including self-inflicted interruptions like Facebook. For tasks that use electronics, this means either putting them in airplane mode or having a dedicated device that doesn’t get notifications. 

Put your phone on airplane mode and connect it to a bluetooth keyboard, so you can write without fear of interruption. Eventually you can buy a thing for this. It’s fine but not amazing. Learn a physical skill. Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain is good for absorption, and once you achieve a minimum skill level you can watch tutorials on youtube as long as you turn off every source of interruption.Some of the frustration of drawing can be alleviated by getting an electronic device for drawing. I looked into this, and an iPad just is the best choice. You might want to have one of these ready to go by February 2020.Read a book you’re really into (Kindle or physical). FYI, you should reread things more often. The hit rate on new books is quite low and some of your favorites are really goodIf it’s an activity that leaves your hands open and you absolutely need something to do with your hands you can add in jigsaw puzzles, coloring, cardio exercise, or low-end cleaning work. Exercise in general is pretty good for Quiet, and you can even put on some entertainment, but it needs to be a single work you commit to, not all purpose access to your phone.After you absorb yourself in one of these for a while (20-90 minutes), you’ll be in a very different state. Calmer, more focused, more serene. The volume on the world will be turned down. You’ll feel more yourself and less mixed with the rest of the world. Also you’ll crave Facebook like a heroin junkie. Give in to that. You just gave a weak muscle an intense workout and it’s appropriate to let it rest. As you do that, pay attention to which parts of you feel what ways. Something will be gained by using Facebook, but also something will be lost, and this is a time to learn those patterns so you can optimize your choices in the future. 

My guess is as time goes on you/I will build the muscle and spend more time in Quiet and less in noise. To be honest I haven’t gotten terribly far in that process, but it seems like the kind of thing that happens and I just can’t imagine the correct amount of online socializing for us is zero.

So far what I’ve talked about is mostly the dangers of apps that give notifications: alerts that draw your attention and thus incur a cost even if you dismiss them. You might be thinking “that doesn’t apply to social media, if I keep it closed by default and l only look when I feel like it.”. First of all, you are wrong. This is because you are not a unified agent: parts of you will want to check FB while other parts are hurt by it, and removing the option to do so will enable the FB-impaired parts to more fully relax (just like it’s easier to relax in an office with a door). B

The leader who's standing up to China

“This is Tsai Ing-wen, always proving herself in the quietest way.”Tsai Ing-wen
“We did not oppose her bid to run, but she also didn’t ignite passion from supporters.”Yao Chia-wen, a senior adviser to President Tsai
“She wasn’t bold enough to talk about Taiwan independence and Taiwan’s fight against China”Yao Chia-wen, senior adviser to Tsai
“It was a controversial issue within the DPP. If not for Tsai or (Premier) Su Tseng-chang, no one else could have achieved it”Jennifer Lu, a prominent activist behind the years-long push for marriage equality
“Spicy Taiwanese sister”A nickname that became popular after Tsai pushed back against Xi’s unification speech in 2019
Tsai, often pictured in uniform and photographed next to soldiers, is leading a major military build-up.

「彈丸小國」立陶宛:走訪昔日超級大國核對抗的最前沿 - BBC News 中文

立陶宛:波羅的海彈丸小國 昔日超級大國核對抗的最前沿2021年11月22日
圖像來源,Reu

Ethiopia's Civil War in Tigray Saw the Use of Chinese and Iranian Weapons

Here's what you need to remember: The Tigray conflict illustrates how affordable variants of drones and ballistic missiles are making their way into conflicts involving less wealthy actors too.

Since November 2020, a complex and tragic civil war has raged in the Tigray region of Ethiopia pitting Tigrayans, led by Ethiopia’s former ruling elite, against Ethiopia’s federal government and the Eritrean military, which has intervened in support of Addis Ababa. Fighting has already killed thousands of combatants and civilians and displaced over 1.7 million people

Amidst reports of atrocities, indiscriminate airstrikes, regional spillover, and dramatic battlefield reversals, the escalating conflict was marked in its early days by long-distance attacks by advanced missile and artillery systems imported from China. Furthermore, there have been persistent claims of the use of armed drones which remained unverified until this summer.

While such weapons may be at the forefront of the arms race between China, Russia, and the United States, the Tigray conflict illustrates how affordable variants of these weapons are making their way into conflicts involving less wealthy actors too.

The Peace Prize that Led to War

Ethiopia is a multi-national federal republic, with Oromo and Amhara ethnicities accounting for over half of the population. But between 1991 and 2018, Ethiopia was mostly ruled in an authoritarian fashion by ethnic Tigrayans, who constitute around six percent of the population, in the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) party. Many of these Tigrayans also nursed a deep grudge against Eritrea, which seceded from Ethiopia in 1991.

In 2018, a multi-ethnic coalition finally defeated the TPLF electorally, bringing Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to power. He proceeded to end hostilities with Eritrea for which he received the Nobel Peace Prize.

This promising development, unfortunately, heralded the war to come, as it infuriated TPLF which Abiy increasingly sought to repress. When Abiy canceled parliamentary elections in September 2020 allegedly due to the coronavirus threat, the TPLF held a regional vote anyway. As Abiy sought to assert control over the defiant region, on November 3 Tigrayans attacked army bases in Tigray, looting many heavy weapon systems.

In response, Abiy deployed the military to crush the rebellion, assisted by aerial bombardments, Amhara militias, and even the Eritrean military. Ethiopian forces captured the Tigrayan capital of Mekelle by the end of November.

But in the following months, mounting atrocities  (massacres, ethnic cleansing, systematic mass rapes) especially by Amharan militias and Eritrean troops and indiscriminate air strikes caused recruitment and defections to the Tigrayan rebels to surge.

Finally, in a stunning reversal, in June 2021 the Tigray Defense Forces (TDF) counterattacked, recapturing Mekelle and compelling federal troops to withdraw from Tigray. Today a two-front war rages, with the TDF still fighting Eritrean troops to the north while its forces advance southward down the B30 highway towards Gondar in the Amhara region.

Rebel Rockets Over Eritrea and Amhara

Most of the Ethiopian National Defense Force’s (ENDF) heavy weapons are of Soviet/Russian and Ukrainian origin, including T-72 tanks and Su-27 and MiG-23 jet fighters. But recent procurements have been sourced from China, including two types of 300-millimeter heavy multiple rocket launcher systems (MRLSs): the CALT A-200 and Norinco AR2. Both are modeled after the Russian BM-30 Smerch system and mounted on 8x8 by trucks which are supported by an additional reloading crane truck.

MRLSs are capable of laying down extremely lethal and widely dispersed barrages in a short amount of time. Furthermore, larger rockets can strike targets deeper behind the frontline. The ten-rocket A200 has a range of seventy-five miles, while twelve-rocket AR2 (export model of the Chinese military Type 03 system) has a range of eighty-one miles. The rockets can carry regular high-explosive warheads or highly lethal fuel-air explosive or cluster bomblets and also come in precision-strike variants guided by Beidou satellite navigation.

The A200 launcher can alternately mount two M20 ballistic missiles from China. An export model of China’s mobile DF-12 SRBM, the M20 officially boasts a range of up to 174 miles. Like Russia’s Iskander missile system, it can deploy countermeasures and maneuver to avoid interception by air defenses, and a combination of satellite and inertial guidance results in an average accuracy of thirty to fifty meters of a designated target.

At the start of hostilities in November, Tigrayan forces captured at least two M20/A200 missile launchers and an AR2 MRL, as well as several loading vehicles. One of the M20/A200 was apparently abandoned after getting stuck on rocky terrain. It was recaptured late in 2020 by the ENDF and eventually destroyed. An M20/A200 was also allegedly captured in July 2021.

On November 13, 2020, a Tigrayan M20 system launched strikes on airbases in Gondar and the Amharan capital of Bahir Dar further to the south, 180 miles from Mekelle. In the initial volley, a missile damaged the terminal in Gondar, while another narrowly missed the airport in Bahir Dar. Two more strikes were launched in November. Satellite photos show one of the missiles cratered the concrete apron at Bahir Dar airport.

In retaliation for Eritrean intervention in the war, the TDF also struck Eritrea’s capital of Asmara, and the city of Massawa three times in the month of November, with salvos of four and six rockets fired Nov. 27 and 28 respectively. Various accounts suggest the weapons landed on Asmara International airport, military facilities, and surrounding suburbs, but no casualties were reported. Given the shorter distance—around fifty and seventy-five miles respectively across the border—these may have involved MRLSs instead of ballistic missiles.

Ethiopia’s Mysterious Drone Force

Addis Ababa has extensively called upon Mi-35 helicopter gunships and around thirty MiG-23 and Su-27 jet fighters to perform airstrikes in the war.  Several air attacks reportedly caused heavy civilian casualties, most infamously on June 23 when a strike on market day in Togoga reportedly killed 64 civilians and injured 184.

TDF forces did capture some radars and air defense systems, however. Confirmed losses attributed to Igla man-portable surface-to-air missiles include a MiG-23 jet with the pilot captured, an L-100-30 cargo plane (you can see the shootdown here), and an Mi-35 helicopter. Additionally, at least four V-600 missiles were launched from three larger captured S-125 systems but missed their targets.

Drones therefore would seemingly offer a more affordable and lower-risk form of airpower. Indeed, reports that the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) was employing armed drones date from early in the conflict, with TDF leadership alleging that Chinese-built drones operated by the United Arab Emirates are flying missions on behalf of the Ethiopian government, without confirmation.

An Ethiopian Air Force (EAF) general did confirm the EAF is using drones, but not armed drones. Ethiopian Federal Police for example are equipped with unarmed Chinese drones, and the EAF is also known to have acquired Israeli Aerostar Tactical and WanderB surveillance drones.

Given Ethiopia’s relationship with China and the affordability of Chinese combat drones, China was assumed to be the source of such weapons, with some third-party sources claiming the EAF has large CASC CH-4B Rainbow or Wing Loong II (‘Pterodactyl’) armed drones. However visual evidence has remained elusive.

Finally, on August 3, a series of photos posted on pro-government social media showed Prime Minister Abiy walking on a tarmac of Semara airport with a large combat drone (UCAV) in the background with hardpoints under its wings seemingly carrying missiles. Satellite photos on August 2 revealed two drones at the base.

Open-source investigation site Bellingcat determined the drone’s profile appeared to be that of an Iranian Mohajer-6 UCAV. Even more suggestively, photos showing the exterior and interior of the drones’ Ground Control Station and video feed closely match Iranian images of the Mohajer-6’s control system.

The Mohajer-6 is the latest iteration of a drone family that first saw combat use by Iran in the mid-1980s, and can perform surveillance missions using a gimbaled electro-optical sensor and carry out strikes with Qaem-1 precision glide bombs. The Mohajer-6’s utility, however, would be constrained by its reported range of 124 miles, limiting its reach over Tigray. Mekelle, for example, is 155 miles away from Semera.

Nonetheless, the ongoing Tigray war demonstrates how combat drones and long-range missiles and rockets are falling into the hands of more actors across the globe, and seeing more frequent use in conflicts. Drones amount to more deniable, risk-mitigating and cost-efficient form of airpower, while rocket and missile artillery offers an alternate means of attacking military and civilian targets far beyond the frontlines.

Sébastien Roblin writes on the technical, historical and political aspects of international security and conflict for publications including The National Interest, NBC News, Forbes.com, and War is Boring.  He holds a Master’s degree from Georgetown University and served with the P