“Publicly and privately, the Pentagon pinky-swears that militants haven’t been able to make a dent in U.S. operations, even though they’re able to tap into American overhead surveillance feeds. But at least one Air Force official, under the cover of anonymity, is telling a different story. One militant group in Iraq was able to stay a step ahead of U.S. forces, he says, thanks to their ability to intercept spy drones’ transmissions. ‘We noticed a trend when going after these guys; that sometimes they seemed to have better early warning,’ the officer tells Air Force Times’ Michael Hoffman and John Reed. Eventually, American troops were able to raid a safe house of the Kata’ib Hezbollah militia, based out of Baghdad’s Sadr City. As Hoffman and Reed note, the group ‘has long been suspected of being a surrogate for Iran’s Quds Force.’ U.S. forces were surprised at the level of technical sophistication. On confiscated laptops, they found footage taken by both Predator drones and the Army’s fleet of smaller unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs.”