Skip to comments.Study Says Iraq Insurgents Use Advanced Weapons (SA-16)
Posted on 01/18/2004 2:21:08 AM PST by XHogPilot
Jan 17, 8:14 PM (ET)
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Iraqi guerrillas are using increasingly sophisticated weapons and tactics to attack U.S. aircraft, according to a classified Army study on the downing of helicopters in Iraq, The New York Times reported in Sunday editions. Citing senior Army officials in Iraq and the Gulf who were familiar with the study, the newspaper reported that at least one advanced missile was used by insurgents.
Rebels have used rocket-propelled grenades and heat-seeking surface-to-air missiles, the latter which require a degree of skill, in the attacks. Scores of U.S. servicemen have died in recent months in a rash of helicopter downings in Iraq.
The study found that no type of helicopter is more protected against, or more vulnerable to attacks.
But it recommended changes to help pilots evade ground fire, which the officials did not elaborate on. In the past, the Times said, changes have included flying more missions at night, with lights turned off to avoid detection.
According to Army officials, it was concern about the recent helicopter downings that prompted Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the senior commander in Iraq, to move beyond a standard review after such crashes and order in December a comprehensive study of all downings.
Army officials told the paper that one troubling finding is that on at least one occasion insurgents used an SA-16 shoulder-fired missile, which is harder to thwart than the SA-7 missiles and rocket-propelled grenades used in other attacks.
Officials did not specify which incident or incidents might have involved an SA-16.
The team that conducted the review was headed by Col. Stephen Dwyer, a brigade commander at the Army Aviation Center at Ft. Rucker, Alabama, the Times said. It included about a dozen forensic and weapons experts, crash analysts and helicopter specialists, and spent about four weeks in Iraq visiting the crash sites, taking soil samples and talking to aviators.
"This is a case of our Army coming through quickly with the right expertise at the right place," the Times quoted Maj.-Gen. David Petraeus, commander of the 101st Airborne Division as saying.
A Oct 2003 report by GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs Daily, Bosnian Terrorist Assets Moving to Iraq, indicated a "mujahedin training facility in Bosnia was now part of a process to send fighters into Iraq".
Further in the article, "It would also reflect that the al-Qaida and Iranian-backed Islamist infrastructure in the Balkans, built up since the beginning of the 1990s, was now being used as an integral part of the war against US forces in Iraq. As well, there were indications that the Bosnian-based Islamists had also been used to support military operations against the anti-terrorist Coalition in Afghanistan.
NATO Stabilization Force (SFOR) officials were apparently aware of the linkage, and, in the second half of September 2003, raided the Muslim military barracks in Tuzla, seizing all of the SA-7 Strela and SA-16 Igla man-portable surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) in the armory."
Next time someone wants to ethnically cleanse some muslims, let's not get too excited about jumping up and sending our boys to defend them....
Are you sure it was SA-16s and not SA-7s or -14s? SA-16s began manufacture in the late 80's and were reportedly exclusive to the USSR for several years.
Notwithstanding the stupidity of these allegations, NATO has addressed them recently, and the lack of any attacks against US forces in Bosnia or Kosovo gives the lie to this BS - if you want to see what happens when Al Qaeda is in the neighborhood of US forces, Afghanistan provides a perfect example - and compared to the Balkans it is night and day.
I note that Al Qaeda related individuals have been apprehended in Bosnia, Algerians mostly, and that they were handed over by the Bosnian government to SFOR and are now currently in Gitmo.
In short, the Balkan connection to Al Qaeda is more hype than substance, and isn't pushed in the service of American interests.
NATO says no evidence of militants in Bosnia
15 Jan 2004 17:36:34 GMT
SARAJEVO, Jan 15 (Reuters) - NATO's new secretary-general denied on Thursday recent media reports that al Qaeda and other Islamic militant groups were present in Bosnia.
"We have no firm evidence that international terrorists are operating, training or recruiting in Bosnia-Herzegovina," Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said during his first trip since taking the position last week...
OK. But where are they getting the SA-16s from?
The Iraqis were using SA-16's against us in 1991:
The SA-16 Iglas is thought to have shot down as many as 12 of the 29 coalition aircraft lost in the 1991 Persian Gulf war.
Aviation Week and Space Technology, Dec 9, 2002
The story here isn't the disinformation directed against Bosnia itself, but the fact that the disinformation is being pushed on FR with such frequency and that it is being swallowed by an uncritical audience.
None of it serves any American interest.
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