Haroon Siddique, Brian Whitaker and Louisa Loveluck
guardian.co.uk, Friday 17 August 2012
Stingers for the FSA?
The Free Syrian Army have acquired a shipment of 14 Stinger missiles, according to al-Arabiya. The missiles are believed to have been delivered through the İskenderun area on the border with Turkey. According to al-Arabiya’s source, both Turkey and the United States are aware of the arms delivery.The acquisition of Stinger missiles would be a significant gain for the rebels. These surface-to-air missiles use an infrared seeker to lock on to the heat in a plane’s engine, with a range of up to 11,000ft. Although usually fired from standing, they can be adapted to fire from ground vehicles and would fit well into the rebels’ existing arsenal of truck-mounted weapons.
As The Guardian reported on Tuesday, the FSA already claim to have shot down a regime plane using a KPV 14.5mm heavy machine gun. The use of stingers would certainly increase the rebels’ capacity to challenge the regime’s military predominance in the air."