Despite a million dollar buyback program and hundreds of raids on illicit weapons caches, US and Iraqi forces are still finding surface-to-air missiles in insurgent stockpiles. US military press releases and media reports reveal that, since October 2006, at least 121 such missiles have been recovered, along with 4 additional launchers and various components. These reports suggest that insurgents still have ready access to surface-to-air missiles, including MANPADS, at least some of which are reportedly still operational. The missiles pose an immediate threat to civilian and military aircraft in Iraq and a potential threat to aircraft in the region.
To read the rest of Missile Watch #3, click here.