Israel is providing Ukraine with intelligence on Iranian suicide drones used by the Russian army in its bombardment of Ukrainian cities in recent days, a report in the New York Times said citing a senior Ukrainian official.
In addition, a private Israeli security firm is providing the Ukrainians with satellite images of Russian military positions, the report said.
On Wednesday, the day the report was published, Ukrainian forces shot down nine attack drones, bringing the total up to 50 over the past week.
Israel has been cautious about taking sides in the war, and is one of a few countries in the world that shares strong ties with both Russia and Ukraine. Jerusalem coordinates all military strikes on Iranian targets in Syria with Moscow.
Ukraine has asked Israel to provide it with aerial defense systems since the onset of the war in February, but Israel has refused to do so, likely out of fear of Russian intervention in its anti-Iran activities in Syria.
Russia purchased hundreds of suicide drones from Iran in August, despite the U.S. warning Tehran not to sell them. The official told the New York Times that Israel was providing Ukraine with “basic intelligence” on the drones.
Iranian-made kamikaze drones struck the Kyiv area on Thursday.
According to the Ukrainian official, however, the drones are slow and “easy to target.”
Since Russian forces invaded Ukraine in February, Israel has sought to preserve ties with Moscow, particularly due to the Russian military presence in neighboring Syria, where the Israeli Air Force has regularly struck Iranian-linked targets. It is also believed to be wary of the effects of a strong pro-Ukrainian state on Russia’s Jewish population.
Last month, Israeli media reported an Israeli defense contractor had sold anti-drone systems to Ukraine’s military via Poland.
Britain on Thursday said it will provide missiles for advanced NASAM anti-aircraft systems as well as sending of additional aerial drones for information gathering, and 18 howitzer artillery guns, according to Reuters.
British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said he had authorized the supply of AMRAAM anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine.