Who's using drones in the Middle East?
The attacks on Saudi oil systems have led to conjecture that Iranian forces have used drones on many separate occasions within the Middle East
Leading both the Saudi and United States authorities agreeing that this may have been possible.
So what countries do both the Saudi and United States think are deploying drones to hit middle eastern targets with apparent ease?
The first recorded case off countries openly using armed drones occurred in early October 2001, its target a Taliban convoy during the early days of Afghan War.
The use of these highly complicated Armed UAVs was initially only used by a small number of countries who had the technology to launch and operate these very advance weapons, and it was initially only Israel and the United States who had the technology and the know-how to launch these new weapons.
This was all to change when China, became one of the worlds major suppliers of such systems, systems which they were eager to sell to as many countries or individuals as possible. Including to at least six other middle eastern governments.
The civilian UAV market has also become more sophisticated, and the technology has been converted into combat drones.
While the equipment might not be cutting edge, highly capable UAVs can be manufactured by any country with a reasonable industrial base - Iran is a good case in point.
And Iran has played a crucial role in transferring relatively advanced drone technology to several non-state actors, such as the Houthi rebels in Yemen.
Picture courtesy of Getty Images.