Author Topic: How popular holiday flights run risk of jihadist rocket threat  (Read 175 times)

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Offline Chieftain

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Fears surface-to-air missiles have fallen into hands of terrorists who could shoot down planes to South Africa and Dubai

    Hundreds of flights a day pass over territory held by likes of ISIS in Iraq
    Major Europe-Asia flight path is directly above stronghold city of Mosul
    Claims made it is 'perfectly possible' ISIS could have missiles to destroy jets
    Scrutiny on flight paths comes after downing of MH17 in Ukraine last week
    Flights over contested areas serve popular destinations like Johannesburg

By Kieran Corcoran

Published: 05:19 EST, 26 July 2014 | Updated: 08:34 EST, 26 July 2014

Hundreds of flights a day to destinations including South Africa and Dubai are flying over warzones occupied by terrorists who could have access to surface-to-air missiles, raising fears another aircraft could be shot down.

Carriers including British Airways and Qatar Airlines are making use of flight paths including a busy corridor directly over Mosul, an Iraqi city that is the stronghold of jihadist group ISIS.

The routes are currently considered safe by aviation authorities, but fears have been raised after Flight MH17 was shot down last week, causing many carriers to divert their services from Ukraine.

ISIS, the terrorist group which took over swathes of Iraq in June and declared it an 'Islamic State', are a brutal, anti-West group which has boasted of holding mass executions, crucifixion and imposing hardline Islamic law on its conquered territory.

And today the prospect was raised that the group, which has looted Iraqi army supplies including attack helicopters and tanks, also has access to surface-to-air missiles capable of bringing down a passenger jet.

Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Williams, a former SAS commander in Iraq and Afghanistan, has said it is 'perfectly possible' the militants have seized missiles from their operations in Syria.

Speaking to The Times, he said: 'They may also have skilled operators, given the amount of defectors from the Syrian regime and the old Iraqi army staff that will be around.

'I would like someone to show me that they don’t have them, rather than wait to be proved wrong.'

Many flights to Asia, including routes to popular holiday destinations like Dubai, use the flight corridor over Mosul.

There are also concerns over areas of north Africa such including Mali, where a plane crashed on Thursday, killing all 116 passengers. It is not clear what brought down the plane.

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Offline EC

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Re: How popular holiday flights run risk of jihadist rocket threat
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2014, 02:13:54 AM »
How serious a threat is it? Most of the stuff they have is MANPADS - about a 3 km range, so well below the usual flight path of 10 km up. I find it hard to believe that they can man and maintain a serious AA battery.
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