ISIS capable of shooting down passenger planes

SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)

Iraqi and U.S. air patrols now have to contend with the possibility that ISIS militants have sophisticated surface-to-air missile launchers, or man-portable air defense systems. ISIS claims to have shot down several Iraqi helicopters.

It’s long been a security nightmare: terrorists capable of shooting down aircraft. New images posted by ISIS show it may already be a reality.

With U.S. aircraft, including Apache helicopters and AC-130 gunships now in action over Iraq, so-called man portable air defense systems, or MANPADS, are a grave and growing concern.

“There’s clearly significant potential threat to aviation operating in Iraqi and Syrian airspace due to ongoing fighting.”

MANPADS like the FN-6 can strike aircraft flying at altitudes up to 12,500 feet, making both Apaches and AC-130 gunships vulnerable, though not higher-flying combat aircraft such as FA-18’s and B1B’s, or commercial aircraft at cruising altitude.

MANPADS are a threat however, to civilian or military aircraft on take-off or landing, a threat that has grown as ISIS forces have moved within several miles of Baghdad International Airport.

ISIS militants are now sharing missile know-how far and wide, even posting a manual on “the best ways to down an Apache aircraft”, including recommended techniques such as firing from elevated areas.

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