Missile Watch #4: Global Update (January – March 2009)


In March, the Sunday Times of London reported on the Taliban’s alleged acquisition of Iranian-supplied SA-14 missiles, which the Afghan insurgent group reportedly wants for a “spectacular” attack on coalition forces. The accusation reportedly came from unidentified “American intelligence sources.” According to the Sunday Times, “…coalition forces only became aware of the presence of SA14s two weeks ago when parts from two of them were discovered during an American operation in western Afghanistan.” The article provides no information on the number of SA-14s allegedly circulating in Afghanistan, their condition, or Iran’s alleged connection to them. When queried about the Sunday Times article, a US military official told the Federation of American Scientists that “[man-portable air defense systems] have been recovered in Afghanistan since 2007,” but refused to provide additional details because of “operational security concerns.”

Other types of MANPADS reportedly acquired by the Taliban and other unauthorized end-users in Afghanistan include the Chinese HN-5, photographs of which were obtained by the Washington Times in 2007, and the ubiquitous SA-7.

For information on Iraq, Sri Lanka and Somalia, click here.

3 thoughts on “Missile Watch #4: Global Update (January – March 2009)

  1. They are, iran is shia muslim country and the taleban are sunni for a start. Quite frankly I find it hard to believe that iran would be aiding the taleban. This report is in all probability just a story cooked up by the us govt to help keep the heat on iran.

  2. well what you fail to understand my friends is that although the iranians and taliban fighters have religious differences they both have a common enemy. and countries tend to do that throughout history come together to have a better chance at defeating their enemy than just hold on to petty greviences. this is the same thing we did in the Cold War against Russian. We gave the Taliban in the 80’s Stinger missles. Go figure

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