Friday, February 16, 2007

New Surface to Air Threat Made in China?

 From IraqSlogger

U.S. Blames Iran For New Weapons, But Slogger Looks Elsewhere


Although today is judgement day for Iran, arms experts are looking a little deeper into some of the assumptions that will be made.

The recent rash of helicopter shoot downs in Iraq seems to point towards either bad luck, bad tactics or better weapons used by the insurgents. What is clear is that the United States has focused on Iran as an instigator, supporter and trainer of Shia militias. But once again looking closer reveals that the helo shoot downs were in Sunni neighborhoods not Shia areas. The claims of shoot downs have come from Sunni organizations like the Feb 7 from the Islamic State in Iraq, an umbrella group of Iraqi insurgent organizations. Beirut via Syria would be a likely entry point for Russian made made weapons that can be used by Sunnis. Iran has supplied the shia Hizbullah in Beirut with surface to air missiles against Israel. Weapons could also be flown in via Kurdistan, smuggled northward from Kuwait and just about anywhere on Iraq's porous borders.

Secondly a new Surface to Air missile has already been brought into battle against Israel when Hizbullah claimed a shoot down of an Israeli helicopter using a "Waad" or "Promise" named man-portable air-defence system (MANPAD).

Despite the Arabic name, the Waad is actually Chinese in origin, not Iranian. So sourcing the weapons is not as easy as pointing to Iran. Just as the Americans sold captured Egyptian weapons supplied by the Soviets to the muhahadeen in Afghanistan to attack the Russians, the Iranians need only supply the cash through intermediaries to remove any direct link. Beirut, the home of Hizbullah is one of the world's largest arms markets. So is Dubai, Amman and other middle eastern centers.

in the 80's it is not unusual for point of origin to be obscured. The tradition continues today since The Waad is more than likely the QW-2 "Qianwei" or "Vanguard" and is made by and marketed by a large Chinese government owned consortium.   Entire Article


Technorati tags: , ,


Ads by