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Posts tagged "manpads"

More Signs of Black Marketeers’ Effort to Obscure Origins of Chinese MANPADS in Syria.

Note the spray paint on missile tube. It’s consistent with similar markings previously observed on a missile tube provided, via the SNC, to Ahfad al-Rasul. Rebels and other sources say these Chinese-made FN-6 heat-seeking missile systems were shipped to rebels from Sudan, and the suppliers sought to cover up the trail in this crude way. If you search videos showing FN-6s in rebel possession you will see the spray-paint blotches in other shots, too. For the video from which the screen grab above was snatched, via Eliot Higgins (aka Brown Moses) go here.

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Children look at a sign warning of landmine dangers


This year we celebrate a milestone: 20 years of a U.S.-led, multi-agency effort to safely clear landmines and other unexploded ordnance, as well as to safely dispose of excess, unsecured, or at-risk weapons and munitions. Since the program’s inception in 1993, the United States has delivered more than $2 billion in aid in over 90 countries, making us the world’s single largest financial supporter of Conventional Weapons Destruction programs worldwide. Today’s release of the 12th Edition of our annual report on these efforts, To Walk the Earth in Safety, commemorates this investment in international peace and security.  

This effort began with the establishment of the U.S. Humanitarian Mine Action program in 1993.  From this original focus on making the world safer by assisting communities and nations to overcome threats from landmines and explosive remnants of war, we expanded the program in 2001 to include activities to address the threat from at-risk conventional weapons and munitions, including Man-Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS).

Our funding supports not only survey and clearance of landmines and unexploded ordnance, but also medical rehabilitation and vocational training for those injured by these devices; community outreach to prevent further injuries and essential investments in research and development of new life-saving technologies.  Taken together, these efforts can make post-conflict communities safer and set the stage for recovery and development. Our efforts have assisted 15 countries around the world to become free of the humanitarian impact of landmines and have helped to dramatically reduce the world’s annual landmine casualty rate. 

Read more … 

Battlefield Update:  Heat-Seeking Anti-Aircaft Missiles in Syria.

The risky weapon system that rebels believe they need. Overview of the weapons’ circulation in the conflict, and the arguments for and against. With details on the missiles’ uneven performance in the war, and rebel suspicions that the Qataris, who have provided them Chinese-made FN-6’s, got fleeced.

On the NYT’s At War blog.

ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPH

A Syrian rebel with a recently expended SA-16 tube. By the author. A few weeks ago.

(Reuters) - Saudi Arabia, a staunch opponent of President Bashar al-Assad since early in Syria’s conflict, began supplying anti-aircraft missiles to rebels “on a small scale” about two months ago, a Gulf source said on Monday.

The shoulder-fired weapons were obtained mostly from suppliers in France and Belgium, the source told Reuters. France had paid for the transport of the weapons to the region.

The supplies were intended for General Salim Idriss, leader of the Supreme Military Council of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), who was still the kingdom’s main “point man” in the opposition, the source said.

Read more …

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TIMBUKTU, Mali (AP) — The photocopies of the manual lay in heaps on the floor, in stacks that scaled one wall, like Xeroxed, stapled handouts for a class.

Except that the students in this case were al-Qaida fighters in Mali. And the manual was a detailed guide, with diagrams and photographs, on how to use a weapon that particularly concerns the United States: A surface-to-air missile capable of taking down a commercial airplane.

The 26-page document in Arabic, recovered by The Associated Press in a building that had been occupied by al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb in Timbuktu, strongly suggests the group now possesses the SA-7 surface-to-air missile, known to the Pentagon as the Grail, according to terrorism specialists. And it confirms that the al-Qaida cell is actively training its fighters to use these weapons, also called man-portable air-defense systems, or MANPADS, which likely came from the arms depots of ex-Libyan strongman Col. Moammar Gadhafi.


cjchivers:

MANPADS and Syria.

Every day, all across Syria, antigovernment fighters post videos of their operations, a daily record of such volume that it is almost impossible to follow in full and do the many other aspects of this job. Many videos resemble each other, and the old and new blur together with time into a mosaic of violence that is both numbing and coherent. A few videos stand out. This new video, showing the use of what appears to be an FN-6 shoulder-fired heat-seeking missile, fits into the latter category. For months we have covered the spread of portable anti-aircraft missiles through the conflict. Once their presence became a clearly established fact we spent less time noting each development, as the news value of each sighting declined. But remember: the more familiar such sights become, the greater the danger to the Syrian Air Force, and the deeper the long-term regional security concern. It is worth noting too the value of these missiles as propaganda tools, as this video appears to show, according to those who follow each video more closely than we can from the field, a mix of a recent shot with old footage — another complication in a lingering worry, and an old game. For sustained coverage of the MANPADS proliferation, have a look at the Brown Moses blog, or At War.

cjchivers:

New MANPADS Sightings in Syria

Arms spotters today noticed the appearance of what looks like the Chinese FN-6 series of heat-seeking shoulder fired missile in Syria. The system, which appears complete, was in the hands of an anti-government fighter. Another sign that the MANPADSs threat to the Syrian Air Force escalates, and that the regional security worries grow. For links and hat-tips to those who keep an eye out for these things, go here for the Brown Moses fast-post.  For more background, try there or there.


Syrian Rebels Appear to Capture Advanced MANPADS
On the At War blog, with a nod to Brown Moses for doing the on-line scouring, a quick summary of what seem to be new rebel acquisitions of anti-aircraft weapons. The photograph above shows a rebel with an apparently complete (tube, gripstock and battery) SA-16. Another photo shows another rebel with an apparently complete SA-24, one of the most advanced heat-seekers in the world. This might be the only time an SA-24 MANPADS has been photographed outside of state control. 
For more on the SA-24 (which at one point was the subject of public excitement in Libya, later established as unfounded), go here. Or here.
Before these photographs circulated, all the publicly available imagery of rebels with MANPADS showed them carrying or capturing the older and much less capable SA-7 system. These new weapons are a significant upgrade. One takeaway: While much of the public discourse was diverted into breathless inquiries about which American general slept with whom, the potential consequences of the Syrian war became much more complicated, and much more dangerous.

Syrian Rebels Appear to Capture Advanced MANPADS

On the At War blog, with a nod to Brown Moses for doing the on-line scouring, a quick summary of what seem to be new rebel acquisitions of anti-aircraft weapons. The photograph above shows a rebel with an apparently complete (tube, gripstock and battery) SA-16. Another photo shows another rebel with an apparently complete SA-24, one of the most advanced heat-seekers in the world. This might be the only time an SA-24 MANPADS has been photographed outside of state control. 

For more on the SA-24 (which at one point was the subject of public excitement in Libya, later established as unfounded), go here. Or here.

Before these photographs circulated, all the publicly available imagery of rebels with MANPADS showed them carrying or capturing the older and much less capable SA-7 system. These new weapons are a significant upgrade. One takeaway: While much of the public discourse was diverted into breathless inquiries about which American general slept with whom, the potential consequences of the Syrian war became much more complicated, and much more dangerous.