Heat-Seeking Missiles in Syria: The SA-7 in Action with Rebels [View all]
By C. J. CHIVERS
Throughout this year, as fighting intensified in Syria and antigovernment fighters grew in numbers and in strength, it had seemed inevitable that they would acquire heat-seeking shoulder-fired missiles and turn them against the Syrian military aircraft.
This blog had documented the part-by-part appearance in rebel hands of one old heat-seeking system, known as the SA-7. Since midsummer there have been occasional sightings of full systems but none, as far as we know, showing the system in actual use.
Two videos recently posted on YouTube suggest that what had been expected is now occurring.
The first video, embedded below and posted today, shows what would appear to be a two-man hunter-killer team with an SA-7, waiting for an aircraft from hiding behind a building. Matthew Schroeder, an analyst who covers missile proliferation and the arms trade at the Federation of American Scientists in Washington, noted “the glint of the missile’s seeker head, so the missile is in the tube.” This, along with the visible battery and grip stock, indicates that the system is complete.The man with the SA-7 does not loiter; he is soon picked up by another man on a light motorcycle.