The Janes website said that Turkey reported recently to the UN Register of Conventional Weapons (UNROCA) that it has exported three unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to Saudi Arabia. The report did not identify the UAVs but listed them under category IV b, which covers armed UAVs. According to the website, there are two types being produced in Turkey: the Baykar Bayraktar TB2 and the larger Turkish Aerospace (TUSAŞ) Anka, both of which can use guided munitions made by defense company Roketsan.
If the transaction took place, it is a unique and unusual deal between two countries that are in different alliances and coalitions in the Middle East. While Turkey heads the militant Sunni coalition that also includes Qatar and the internationally-recognized Libyan government, Saudi Arabia leads the moderate pro-Western Sunni camp.
The reported deal also raises the question of whether we are seeing the first signs of the disintegration of the coalition structure, which includes the radical Shiite camp led by Iran, following the rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Qatar at the beginning of the year, and the lifting of the boycott on Qatar, which was imposed four years ago.