From the American TOW to the French MILAN to the Swedish AT-4, anti-tank weapons are now featuring prominently in the ground war against the Islamic State.
The U.S. is supplying Iraqi Security Forces with the BGM-71 tube-launched optically tracked wire-guided, or TOW, missile made by Raytheon Co. as well as the AT-4 unguided missile made by Saab (pictured above) for use against militants affiliated with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, also known as ISIL, according to an article by my colleague Richard Sisk.
Meanwhile, Kurdish Peshmerga forces wielded the Missile d’Infanterie Leger Antichar, or MILAN, light infantry anti-tank missile to stop ISIS counterattacks using vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices in the successful push to take the northwestern Iraqi town of Sinjar last week, Sisk wrote.
The New York Times reported last month that the American anti-tank weaponry began arriving in the region in 2013 under a covert CIA program to aid moderate Syria opposition forces, but the supply of TOW missiles picked up in recent months after Russia began military operations in Syria.
Unfortunately, during an Army conference last month in Washington, D.C., officials with the manufacturer weren’t able to speak about the TOW or its potential implications on the battlefield in Iraq and Syria. Instead, they touted a new miniature laser-guided missile for Special Forces and infantry troops.
Meanwhile, here’s a video that purports to show the Syrian rebel group Fursan al Haq firing a TOW at a government tank in northern Hama province on Oct. 7, according to the Times: