Saudi Arabia in talks with Pakistan to provide anti-aircraft anti-tank weapons to Syrian rebels 2302
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Defence & Security News - Saudi Arabia
|Sunday, February 23, 2014 05:12 PM|
Saudi Arabia in talks with Pakistan to provide anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons to Syrian rebels.
Saudi Arabia is in talks with Pakistan to provide Anza anti-aircraft missile weapon system and anti-tank guided missile weapon system Baktar Shikan to Syrian rebels to try to tip the balance in the war to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, a Saudi source said Sunday, February 23, 2014.
Anza Mk-II man-portable air defense missile system designed and manufactured in Pakistan.
Pakistan makes its own version of Chinese shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missiles, known as Anza, and anti-tank guided missile weapon system Baktar Shikan, both of which Saudi Arabia is trying to get for the rebels, said the source, who is close to Saudi decision-makers, requesting anonymity.
The source pointed to a visit to Riyadh earlier this month by Pakistan's army chief of staff, General Raheel Sharif, who met Crown Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz.
Prince Salman himself last week led a large delegation to Pakistan, shortly after Saudi's chief diplomat Prince Saud al-Faisal visited the kingdom's key ally.
Jordan will be providing facilities to store the weapons before they are delivered to rebels within Syria, the same source said.
Rebels have long said that anti-aircraft and anti-tank rockets would help tip the balance in the battle against Assad's forces, which enjoy air superiority.
The Baktar Shikan is a second-generation of anti-tank missile weapon system which pursues the principle of optical aiming, IR tracking, remotely controlled and wire transmitted guidance signals. This anti-tank weapon system is designed and manufactured in Pakistan at the Institute of Industrial Control Systems.
The Baktar Shikan missile has a maximum range of 3,000 m. The missile can penetrate armours of 500 mm with standard warhead, while the tandem warheads are claimed to be able of penetrating armours of over 600 mm.