ISIS images: Chinese-made missile used to shoot down Iraqi forces helicopter

ISIS images: Chinese-made missile used to shoot down Iraqi forces helicopter

[Ed. – Quite plausible.  And much more worrisome than reports about ISIS getting hold of ancient Syrian MiGs or Sukhoi tactical bombers.]

Since at least late 2013, however, the Islamic State’s forces in Iraq appear to have acquired more sophisticated antiaircraft missile systems, including the Chinese-made FN-6, originally provided by Qatar and possibly also Saudi Arabia to Syrian rebels.

In the images purporting to show the shooting down of the Iraqi attack helicopter, on Oct. 3 in Baiji, the militant, a scarf wrapped around his face, is wielding a Chinese-made FN-6 missile system — apparently the first documented use of the weapon by Islamic State jihadists in Iraq, analysts said.

The militants claimed to have shot down several other Iraqi military helicopters this year, most recently a Bell 407 on a surveillance mission near Baiji on Oct. 8.

“Judging by reports from Iraq, and in particular Anbar Province, over the last three to four months, it would seem ISIL have been using Manpads far more frequently and more successfully than Syrian rebels have ever done,” Mr. Lister added.

An even greater potential concern is that militants might get their hands on SA-24’s, a more sophisticated system that Russia recently sold to Iraq, and first showed up in militant videos in September, said Matthew Schroeder, a missile proliferation analyst at Small Arms Survey, an independent research project based in Geneva.

The SA-24’s have a longer range than older models and use faster and more maneuverable missiles, Mr. Schroeder said.

Newer systems also have a greater ability to hit targets from a wider range of angles, such as a perpendicular shot at a moving target like a plane on its approach to a runway.

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