Iran training Taliban fighters to use surface-to-air missiles
By: Sara A. Carter
National Security Correspondent
October 25, 2010
Iranian military advisers have been training Taliban fighters in Afghanistan on the use of surface-to-air missiles, a potential game changer in the war if insurgents can use such weapons effectively, several current and retired military officials told The Washington Examiner.
"We know the [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] has been training Taliban fighters in the use of surface-to-air missiles," said a military official in Afghanistan with knowledge of the situation. "As of the moment it is uncertain whether the Taliban has access to the weapons systems necessary to utilize this training against the coalition."
That is the key question -- whether the Iranian government or other supporters of the Taliban have so far supplied the weapons necessary to conduct significant attacks against U.S. or coalition aircraft in the region, military sources said. The Iranians reportedly possess Chinese portable surface-to-air missiles of the type that would threaten coalition aircraft.
When asked whether Iran was training Taliban to use surface-to-air missiles, supplying weapons or had used surface-to-air missiles against U.S. aircraft recently shot down in Afghanistan, a Pentagon official said the Defense Department "cannot address questions this specific and of this nature at an unclassified level."