Pictures started circulating online this week of what looked like a US Army drone sitting in the middle of the Iraqi desert, and yesterday the Pentagon confirmed that's indeed what it is, the Verge reports. A US Central Command spokesman told BuzzFeed that an MQ-1 surveillance drone crashed on July 16 on its way back to an Iraqi recovery base in southern Iraq due to "technical complications."
What spurred this admission: a tweet of the photos, including a selfie with the drone, by Steven Nabil, whose Twitter bio says he's "an Iraqi activist with wide communication links through out Iraq and the military." An Iraqi freelance journalist tells BuzzFeed he received word of the images from "villagers who sent it through a relative who follows me [on Twitter]." Meanwhile, a DoD spokesman said in a statement, per the Hill: "There were no weapons on board the aircraft. We are working with Iraqi authorities to recover the aircraft." (Read more selfie stories.)