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300 Shoulder-Fired Missiles in Insurgent Arsenal, Claims Thai Colonel

300 Shoulder-Fired Missiles in Insurgent Arsenal, Claims Thai Colonel

Author: Monica Amarelo

Type: Release

 WASHINGTON DC -- A Thai military official claimed that the United Wa State Army, a Burmese insurgent group, possesses 300 shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles – a stockpile that is comparable in size to those of many small states. 

According to Jane’s Information Group, the Wa’s missile holdings consist of older SA-7s acquired in the early 1990s from Cambodian sources, and more sophisticated Chinese HN-5Ns supplied by black market arms dealers in China.These reports appear to be a decade old, however, so it is possible that the composition of the Wa’s current missile stockpile is very different. 

If Colonel Peeranate’s estimate is accurate and the missiles are operational, the Wa’s missile stockpile is one of the largest non-state arsenals in the world.  Little is known about the security of the Wa’s weapons, but the general lack of accountability and formal controls on insurgent arms cachesand the size of the stockpile raises concerns about theft, loss and diversion, and the possibility that some of the missiles will end up on the black market.    

To speak with Matt Schroeder, manager of the FAS Arms Sales Monitoring Project, please contact Monica Amarelo, 202-454-4680, [email protected]

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