Skip to comments.Syrian rebels acquire surface-to-air missiles: report (MANPADs, man-portable air-defense systems)
Posted on 07/31/2012 8:26:38 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Rebels fighting to depose Syrian president Bashar al Assad have for the first time acquired a small supply of surface-to-air missiles, according to a news report that a Western official did not dispute.
NBC News reported Tuesday night that the rebel Free Syrian Army had obtained nearly two dozen of the weapons, which were delivered to them via neighboring Turkey, whose moderate Islamist government has been demanding Assad's departure with increasing vehemence.
Indications are that the U.S. government, which has said it opposes arming the rebels, is not responsible for the delivery of the missiles.
But some U.S. government sources have been saying for weeks that Arab governments seeking to oust Assad, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, have been pressing for such missiles, also known as MANPADs, for man-portable air-defense systems, to be supplied to the rebels.
In recent days, air operations against the rebels by Syrian government forces appear to have been stepped up, particularly around the contested city of Aleppo, making the rebels' need for MANPADs more urgent.
Precisely what kind of MANPADs have been delivered to Syrian rebels is unclear and NBC News did not provide details. Such weapons range from the primitive to highly sophisticated.
And even if the rebels do have the weapons, it is unclear whether they have the training to operate them effectively against Assad's air forces in the immediate future.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
“Did we say MANPAD? We meant iPads. The rebels have iPads.”
It’s amazing what can be accomplished with a wink and a nod.
Can you say August-September-October Surprise?
Nothing would surprise me the next three months. Nothing.
“Will Bill Clinton Upstage Obama at the DNC Convention?”
Are bears Catholic?
“And even if the rebels do have the weapons, it is unclear whether they have the training to operate them effectively against Assad’s air forces in the immediate future.”
I think that the frightening aspect of these weapons is that they require very little training, except that the target can’t be too high.
I know we’ve been worried about these getting out there, but it seems technically possible to build one with a “shelf life”, and the ability to use GPS so that they disable the electronics permanently if taken outside of a given set of coordinates. Without the “guidance stuff”, it’s a rocket with a report in a tube.
All the ones built to date do have a shelf life. It’s why we weren’t too worried about the Stingers in Afghanistan - they’d gone past their use-by date.
I hope what Turkey supplied were some ex-Soviet/Russian Strelas. Those don’t work very well when they’re new - not to mention they had the occasional wonderful habit of “explode-on-launch” which made them very unpopular with regular users. They didn’t get better with age.
Coming soon, to an airport near you...
“not to mention they had the occasional wonderful habit of explode-on-launch which made them very unpopular with regular users. They didnt get better with age.”
On the other hand, there weren’t many “regular users” :)
Obviously, the Rooskies didn’t put much into making these particularly safe for the operator, given the low value put into training then. Perfectly logical, by their standards.
Absolutely right. Remember, never let a crisis go to waste - especially one you've created yourself.
Even when they didn’t explode at launch or shortly after launch, they had a very charming (if you were the target) tendency to track everything but what you had aimed it at. The sun was a common first choice for the seeker head, followed by any hot *stationary* metal. Occasionally the thing would loop and go chase something behind your lines. Or just loop back on you and explode.
In any case, they were more dangerous to the user or the user’s side than what you were shooting it at. If by some miracle it actually did manage to guide and hit the target, often it wouldn’t actually bring the target down if it was a jet. It was considerably more effective against slow and fragile prop planes and helicopters, but even so...
The Russians and Vietnamese report (for example) that between April 28 and July 14 1972, the NVA launched 161 Strelas for only 14 fixed wings and 10 helicopters destroyed. The rest went god knows where. Only one US jet was ever lost to a Strela in Vietnam, a TA-4. Where the other 137 went, well...
All it takes is one lucky hit on jetliner.
Has to be a really lucky hit. They have something like maybe a 1 in 10 chance of actually hitting anything to start with and it turns out a modern jetliner is something the seeker head doesn’t see real well. Especially with the relatively cool exhaust of their high-bypass turbofans. In 2002, someone flipped 2 Strelas at a passing 757. Neither got close to the plane. There have been several other attempts on jetliners with the SA-7/Strela, and none have been successful in over a decade, including several reported mass firings.
no mention of blinkin'? LOL
SEPTEMBER 11, 2012 : (AMBASSADOR STEVENS SIGNS A 3 PAGE CABLE NOTING GROWING PROBLEMS WITH SECURITY IN BENGHAZI; HE NOTES LIBYA'S NEW POLICE AND SECURITY FORCES ARE TOO WEAK TO KEEP THE COUNTRY SECURE) On Sept. 11 -- the day Stevens and three other Americans were killed -- the ambassador signed a three-page cable, labeled "sensitive," in which he noted "growing problems with security" in Benghazi and "growing frustration" on the part of local residents with Libyan police and security forces. These forces the ambassador characterized as "too weak to keep the country secure." (Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...-------Documents show Stevens worried about Libya security threats, Al Qaeda before consulate attack , Fox News ^ | 10-19-2012 | James Rosen Posted on Friday, October 19, 2012 2:56:57 PM by sheikdetailfeather
(snip)..... The Benghazi consulates own security forces had been stripped down to their bare American consulate essentials. Inside the compound, in their own barracks, were members of the February 17 Martyrs Brigade who were tasked with providing security for the consulate. The February 17 Martyrs Brigade is an Islamist militia affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood. The attackers firing off RPGs into the compound were members of Ansar Al Sharia, a spinoff of the February 17 Martyrs Brigade, associated with Al Qaeda.
On diplomatic paper the moderate February 17 Martyrs Brigade and the extremist Ansar Al-Sharia had nothing in common. In reality, the differences between the two militias were mostly cosmetic and the Martyrs Brigade had been contacted ahead of time by an Al Qaeda politician and asked to stand down while the attack took place.
A month later [OCTOBER] and a thousand miles away, the moderate Free Syrian Army and the extremist Al Nusra Front captured a missile base in Syria. The base was stocked with the rather popular S-75 SAMs which may be a bit dated, but had still managed to shoot down an F-111 over Libya back in 1981 and would make short work of most commercial airliners.
The Free Syrian Army is the force that almost everyone agrees we should be supporting. They are almost certainly the fighters that Obama is conveying weapons and trainers to. And the Treasury Department approved a license to provide direct financial assistance to the FSA. The Al Nusra Front however is linked to Al Qaeda and waves the black flag of the Caliphate. It considers the United States an enemy of Islam.
The rebel spokesman for the local franchise of the Brave Syrian People explained, We dont distinguish between the groups Al Nusra and the other militias, as long as everyone is working toward one goal of ousting the regime. Our beloved moderates were making no distinction between themselves and the extremists. By helping the Free Syrian Army, we were really helping Al Qaeda. ......(/snip)----------The Real Difference Between Islamic Extremists and Moderates-A field guide to the Arab Spring, Frontpagemagazine ^ | October 18, 2012 | Daniel Greenfield Posted on Thursday, October 18, 2012 8:18:50 AM by SJackson ----
So the FSA might start taking potshots at airliners out of Tel Aviv one of these days, or so it seems possible. I am hoping the Mossad is on top of things and defensive systems on board.