On November 9, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) uncovered three missiles, which had been left by ISIS fighters, during a search operation around the city of al-Mayadin in the southern Deir Ezzor countryside, according to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA). The missiles were reportedly hidden inside two specially-built containers.
“Two missiles were found in a remote farm, and the third missile was found on the bank of the [Euphrates] river away from the city of al-Mayadin,” a local official told the SANA’s reporter in Deir Ezzor.
Experts identified the missiles as variants of the Soviet 3M9 surface to air missile, which is the main armament of the SA-6 “Gainful” medium range air defense system. All the missiles of the 3M9 family are guided by semi-active radar and have a range of around 24km.
ISIS fighters captured several missiles of this type along with a complete SA-6 system during an attack on several bases of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) around the city of Deir Ezzor in early 2016.
Back then, several observers warned that the captured SA-6 system could be used to attack civilian warplanes flying over Syria and Iraq. However, it looks like the terrorist group was never able to operate it.
Photos of the missiles: