Israeli Official: Gaddafi’s Advanced Anti-Aircraft Missiles Are Now Pointed at Israel
Advanced anti-aircraft missiles which belonged to former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi have fallen into the hands of Hamas and Hezbollah, according to a new report.
Both Hezbollah and Hamas are designated as terrorist organizations by the U.S. State Department.
Speaking to Aviation Week, which first broke this story, about the Russian made hardware, the Israeli official said,”They are in the Gaza Strip. I don’t know in what numbers. They also are in Lebanon.”
According to the report, the weaponry was smuggled out of Libya and into Iran, and from there Hezbollah received their supply through Syria while Hamas received theirs through Egypt.
Following the fall of Gaddafi, military leaders operating inside Libya raised concerns over a class of shoulder launched missile capable of taking down commercial and military aircraft, falling into the hands of terrorists.
“We have to be careful about in whose hands these end up. We’re working with the Libyan government to do something about it because these weapons are lethal,” said British Joint Operations Commander Sir Stuart Peach in October of 2011.
According to Aviation Week the shoulder launched anti-aircraft system – while advanced – has been countered effectively by Western militaries, most notably by the British.
“…in the few times the missiles have seen combat, they did not affect the course of the conflict. Although the weapon isï»¿ one of the more advanced Manpads (Man-portable air-defense systems) on the world market, Western electronic warfare experts appear to have quickly developed operational techniques to defeat it. Even without the most advanced laser-based directed infrared countermeasures systems, British WAH-64 Apache attack helicopters faced a number of SA-24 firings and defeated them,” writes Aviation Week.