Hamas and Hezbollah: Libyan Weapons in Terrorists Hands
Egyptian authorities were just a tad too late to stop Hamas and Hezbollah (the former in Gaza, the latter in Lebanon) from gaining sophisticated Soviet surface to air missiles purchased from Libyan rebel generals looking for quick riches. Empty crates that normally carry the following weapons were found dumped near the border:
- The SA-24s, which are portable air defense missiles with a range of 5.2 kilometers, and an operational ceiling of 3.5 kilometers with a Mach 2.3 speed.
Depending mainly on visual scanning, they can also be fired at night and are effective against fighter planes, armored helicopters, drones and diverse surface-to surface missiles, including cruise missiles.
- SA-14 (Strela-3) is a small and very precise solid propellant guided missile with an improved system for overcoming countermeasures. Its range is 4.5 kilometers and operational ceiling 3 kilometers.
- The SA-7 (Strela-2) has a 3.6 kilometer range, operational ceiling from 15 meters to 1.5 kilometers and Mach 1.75. It is the oldest of the weapons,yet against non-military planes can easily down aircraft.
- Also found were empty crates that normally carried Russian-made MDM-3 sea mines of the same type Qaddafi scattered around ports to keep NATO vessels at bay in May.
While quantities did not amount to more than 15, the SA-24 can be reused and is comparable to the US Stinger. It only takes a few of them to cause havoc for civilian airliners. It seems that the Middle East may be on the edge of another war.