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We have not had much indication of MANPADS yet moving through the region," he said after talks with Algerian officials.
There are differing opinions on the number of MANPADS attacks on civil aircraft since the 1970s (see table 1).
A low-flying jet on strafing or bombing runs can in fact be damaged or even shot down by machine guns, but MANPADS would prove far more deadly and accurate.
MANPADS are used essentially to destroy the attacker before he can make use of his weapons.
On Saturday, media affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a leftist militant group battling the Turkish state, posted a video purporting to show a fighter downing a Cobra attack helicopter with a man-portable air-defense system -- or MANPADS -- in the mountains of southeastern Turkey on Friday morning.
Manpads have a 10-year life before they start to corrode.
The paper also added the Manpads could potentially target passenger planes during take-off and landing.
What the Stingers did to Soviet helicopter gunships, MANPADS could do to the Syrian government helicopters that drop barrel bombs on rebel strongholds in densely populated areas, inevitably killing large numbers of civilians.
We have not changed our position on providing MANPADS to the Syrian opposition," the official, who requested anonymity, told The Daily Star.
officials said last month that the administration continued to oppose any transfers of manpads [shoulder-launched missiles] to rebel fighters, citing the danger the weapons could fall into the hands of al Qaeda and other armed extremist groups.
We have not changed our position on providing MANPADS to the opposition," an administration official said, saying it posed "a proliferation risk" as the weapons could fall into the hands of jihadists.
Manpads are compact missile launchers with the range and explosive power to attack low-flying planes and helicopters.
True, the US does not supply MANPADS to militants in Syria," ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said.
But some US government sources have been saying for weeks that Arab governments seeking to oust Assad have been pressing for such missiles, also known as MANPADs, for man-portable air-defense systems, to be supplied to the rebels.
Los sistemas portatiles de defensa anti-aereos o Manpads son misiles guiados tierra-aire ligeros que normalmente suelen ser disparados desde un mecanismo tubular ubicado en el hombro del operador.
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