For nearly a decade, the small group of countries that had conducted drone strikes was limited to the United States, the United Kingdom, and Israel. But, that club expanded with the entry of Pakistan in 2015. Pakistan used its domestic model, the Burraq—modeled after the Chinese CH-3—to strike militants in the North Waziristan tribal region. The Pakistani government announced the strike publicly.
Nigeria and Iraq both used versions of China’s popular Caihong drone when striking at militants within their borders. Turkey first launched a strike in 2016 against presumed ISIS militants on its border region just a year after demonstrating armed drone development capability. Iran also launched its first strike in 2016, though it has been developing its drone capability for decades.