via Asia Times...
The very fact that Mohammed bin Salman travelled to Russia for a second time this year already (ostensibly to watch the Formula 1, but intentionally to meet up with Putin) becomes hugely symbolic against the backdrop of the Russian military operations in Syria.
The bottom line is that Saudi Arabia has far from shifted into a hostile mood vis-à-vis Russia following the latter’s commencement of military operations in Syria.
The scant details available so far make out that Syria figured in Mohammed bin Salman’s talks with Putin, with the visiting Saudi prince maintaining that Riyadh backs a solution to the crisis in Syria, which would result in the formation of a transitional government and the removal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
And then this from Moon Of Alabama Blog...
The switchblade has the size of a remote piloted hobby plane but features a visual and infrared camera and an explosive charge. It can be "suicided" on a target. According to the datasheet the battery powered killer drone has a "10 km radius of operation".First about the Saudi Defense Minister. Not at all surprising. They need to extricate themselves from the mess that is Yemen, would like to see some kind of agreement on the Syria issue and it wouldn't hurt if they could do all of the above while saving face.
Izraa, where the debris was found, lies (map) at the crossing of the M5 highway from Amman in Jordan north to Damascus and road 109 which runs west to east through south Syria. Izraa is about 40 km north of the Syrian Jordan border and 40 km east of the Golan demarcation line. Anyone who used this armed drone must have been on Syrian ground.
The U.S. Army and the U.S. Marine Corp are the only known users. Since 2012 the weapons has been used in Afghanistan. The system surely requires significant training. Controlling a remote plane 10 km away over unknown terrain is not easy. This excludes the use of the system by some more or less untrained Syrian mercenaries.
Putin gives them the only way out. Moving forcefully to against Assad now probably wouldn't work even if the Administration wanted to do so...and they don't. That means the Saudis are looking at defeat on two fronts unless they can talk their way out.
Next the MoA story. They jump to the idea of it being a ground launched system which means that Special Ops are in the area. I'm not so sure. If I remember correctly the services have been playing with UAVs launching UAVs so that more area can be covered. There has even been talk of fighters launching UAVs. Could this be an early experiment to validate it? Who knows, but pics of the downed (crashed) UAV are now sweeping the internet.