Saturday, February 28, 2009

Iran Is Supplying Anti-Aircraft Missiles To The Taliban

SA-14 GREMLIN (Russia) (Photo from

Missile Threat To British Troops -- Times Online

IRAN is supplying the Taliban in Afghanistan with surface-to-air missiles capable of destroying a helicopter, according to American intelligence sources.

They believe the Taliban wants to use the SA-14 Gremlins missiles to launch a “spectacular” attack against coalition forces in Helmand, where insurgents claim to be gaining the upper hand.

Although British and American helicopters operating in southern Afghanistan are equipped with defensive systems to deflect an attempted strike, the SA-14 can evade such counter-measures.

It was a shoulder-held SA-14 supplied by Iran that was used by Iraqi insurgents to shoot down a Lynx helicopter over Basra in May 2006.

Read more ....

My Comment: What changed the dynamics of the 1980-1988 Afghan-Russian war occurred when the Mujaheddin started to receive surface to air missiles. Overnight, the Soviet military became vulnerable and easy targets when they left their bases for patrols or operations.

If the Times article is true, with surface to air missiles in their arsenal the Taliban are hoping that the same dynamics will now assist them in their fight against Nato/Afghan forces .... and it will.

But what I find interesting in this evolving situation, is that it appears that Iran has now made a strategic decision to arm the Taliban with sophisticated weapons. During the Bush Presidency, warnings were made through third parties that Iran would suffer dire consequences if they proceeded with such actions. As a result, shape charged projectiles was the worst type of weaponry that came out of Iran into Iraq, and (a small amount) into Afghanistan.

But everything has now changed. It appears that President Obama does not deter the Iranians at all.

1 comment: said...

Agree with analysis, but wouldn't it depend how many we're talking about? It took a pretty significant flow of help for a long time to turn the tide against the Soviets.

A few more bits of OSINT here: