Submited to SouthFront by “Within Syria” blog
Since the reveal of Fn-6 anti-aircraft missile in the hands of the Free Syrian Army , speculations and warnings emerged on the danger of empowering non-state forces with such advanced mobile weapons.
While many saw that empowering the FSA with weapons like these is of no perilous consequences, others had ample doubts and worries.
The theory behind the proliferation of those Chinese manufactured weapons is that Qatar purchased them from the Sudan military stockpiles and transferred them with the cooperation of Turkey into Syria, and specifically into Deir Ezzor, Aleppo, Idlib, and Lattakia in addition to Homs’s northern countryside and Qalamoun.
it appears that none of the batches found their way into southern Syria, that is likely due to Qatar and Turkey’s unwillingness to threaten Israel’s security and Jordan’s fear of the incalculable consequences of such a move.
As for this weapon’s operational history in the Syrian conflict, those missile were able to down a SyAAF Mi-8 helicopter during its landing or take off in Mingh AB on 24/2/2013.
On 5/3/2013, another Mi-8 belonging to the Syrian Air Force was downed using the Fn-6 during its take off or landing in Aleppo’s International Airport.
A Syrian MiG-21 fighter jet was downed in Lattakia’s northern countryside during a fighting mission on the 18th of August 2013 using the aforementioned weapon.
The downing of Mig-21 on 18-8-2013 is considered the last confirmed use of the Fn-6 missile. However, the Fn-6 Manpad is likely the reason for many later downing cases that were not announced possibly due to the US disapproval of this Turkish-Qatari unipolar effort or even due to the two country’s fear of a Russian response following the Russian aerial intervention in Syria.
As an example of this censorship, a Syrian Mig-21 was downed on 12/03/2016 in Hama’s countryside with a Manpad that could very likely be an Fn-6 operated by the Al-Qaeda affiliated Jabhat Al-Nusra.
As we mentioned, there was a lot of fear of the unhindered proliferation of such advanced mobile weapons to factions blacklisted as terrorist groups by the United States.
Those fears would prove their magnitude when the full danger conceived would prove to transcend threatening the security of the Syrian airspace. Those fears would later not only prove their authenticity, but also show that the full danger of proceeding with such a hasty step is much larger than threatening security in the Syrian airspace.
On the 3rd of October 2014, ISIS had used an Fn-6 to down an Iraqi Mi-35 that was participating in a US-backed counterterrorism operation in Biji that lies in the Iraqi heartland.
In 30/11/2016, a more dangerous situation was scouted: an Fn-6 rocket was confiscated in the Lebanese Majdal Anjar during a raid by the Lebanese Army on one of Abdallah Azam’s Movement headquarters- a faction designated as a terrorist group by the American administration due to its links to Al-Qaeda. The raid was conducted to arrest Omar Hassan Khroub, the mastermind behind two terrorist attacks that targeted Lebanese civilians- the bombing of Al-Tuyouneh in 20/6/2014 and the bombing of Dahr Al-Baydar in 23/6/2014.
Given this rich history of terrorism, it is safe to assume that the Abdullah Azzam Movement were planning to use this rocket in an attack inside the Lebanese territories possibly targeting a helicopter carrying important people or even civil aircraft flying from the Beirut International Airport.Many Fn-6 still around inside Syria like the one appeared with Homs liberation movement in northern Homs country side ,and that increase future risks
What is certain from all this stated information is that the Fn-6 is the perfect example of why insurgent groups should not be provided with such advance mobile weapons.
Special thanks to Izat Charkati for translating