SYRIA – Special forces operate in the region of the death of the Russian Su-25 attack aircraft in the Syrian province of Khama. The task is to find out details of a portable anti-aircraft missile system from which the aircraft was shot down.
As reported on Tuesday in the Ministry of Defense, before the bailout pilot Major Roman Filippov managed to report that he was attacked by a missile. About who and how supplies MANPADS to Syrian terrorists, – in the RIA material.
– Rich trophies –
Portable anti-aircraft missile systems proved themselves in Syria at the beginning of large-scale military operations. The first successful attack was recorded in July 2012 – the militants destroyed the helicopter Mi-8 government troops.
Most often, the terrorists used MANPADS of Soviet and Russian production – in the photo and video from the conflict zone, militants are posing with the “Igla” and “Strela” complexes of various modifications.
On the account of Soviet complexes, at least three Mi-8 helicopters, two MiG-21 and MiG-23 fighters, a Su-22 fighter-bomber, and an L-39 combat training aircraft. Moreover, MANPADS are seen in different factions – both from the Islamic state and from the detachments of the moderate opposition.
Thousands of Soviet and Russian MANPADS units were armed with Syrian government troops, it is possible that some of them were captured by terrorists. According to experts, some MANPADS in the arsenals of militants can be of Libyan origin.
After the overthrow of the Gaddafi regime, the largest arsenals were sacked, in the fall of 2011, Western media reported that about 20,000 anti-aircraft missile systems disappeared from the Libyan army’s warehouses, and hundreds of MANPADS were sent abroad.
“Strela” and “Needle” could get into the conflict zone from the countries of Eastern Europe. Member of the Federation Council, SVR veteran Igor Morozov points out the possibility of contraband shipments of MANPADS from Ukraine.
“In the fall in the military warehouse in Kalinovka there was a fire of such catastrophic consequences that official Ukrainian people did not exclude the fact that it was specially organized in order to conceal the theft of hundreds of weapons, which then, without the knowledge of the Ukrainian authorities – through various smuggling supplies – could fall into the hands of Syrian terrorists,” Morozov said.
Under suspicion of military-technical cooperation with terrorists, Bulgaria, which continues to produce armaments developed in the USSR, has repeatedly landed. In particular, at the Vazov machine-building plants in the city of Sopot under the license produce MANPADS “Strela-2M”, “Strela-3” and “Igla-1”.
“The main supplier of arms to all Syrian groups fighting against Assad is Bulgaria,” deputy director of the Institute of Political and Military Analysis Alexander Khramchikhin told RIA Novosti. “They are very active in producing and selling weapons to the Middle East, practically without even hiding it.”
– Made in China –
Syrian militants were seen not only with Russian MANPADS. In early March 2013 near Latakia, a Syrian Mi-8 helicopter was shot down from the Chinese FN-6 complex. This MANPADS was adopted by the Chinese army at the beginning of the zero and belongs to the complexes of the third generation, it is comparable in characteristics to the Russian complex Igla-1. FN-6 is capable of destroying air targets at a range of 5.5 and a height of 3.5 kilometers. The way the complex from China to Syria, according to experts, was not easy.
“China supplied these complexes to the Sudan, then they apparently bought Qatar and transported them to Syria,” the director of the Center for Strategic Studies, Ivan Konovalov, told RIA.
Adding: “even then, American media, fearing that MANPADS would be in the hands of terrorists, However, for China, the question of which political regime to supply arms to, has always been secondary: the main thing is to enter a new market.”
There are very exotic products in the arsenals of militants. For example, the North Korean portable anti-aircraft missile system HT-16PGJ is a clone of the Soviet MANPADS “Igla-1”. Apparently, these complexes were captured in the warehouses of government troops – in 2004, Damascus acquired several dozen HT-16PGJ from the DPRK.
It is interesting that the MANPADS of NATO countries have not yet been observed among Syrian militants. Nevertheless, Americans are regularly accused of supplying air defense systems to controlled groups.
In mid-January, Arab media reported that the United States, within the framework of a secret agreement, had transferred a large batch of anti-aircraft missile systems to the Kurds, fighting in the Syrian Afrin region.
Two weeks later, militants of the Syrian Free Army, according to them, repulsed from Kurds a MANPADS “Igla”. Perhaps these were exactly the complexes that the Kurds received from the United States.
“If the Americans start to supply their Stinger, it will cause a huge scandal,” Ivan Konovalov said, “so it’s easier for them to supply Soviet militants with weapons that they have actively purchased and are likely to continue to buy in Eastern Europe, because Soviet weapons in the Middle East a lot and it’s easy for him to get lost.”
But Americans, as was to be expected, categorically deny supplies of MANPADS to Syrian militants. “The United States did not supply any partner forces in Syria with any ground-to-air weapons and do not intend to do so in the future,” Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon said recently.