Free Syrian Army fighters look at the sky as they stand on a truck mounted with an anti-aircraft gun in Maarat Al-Nouman, Idlib province May 20, 2014. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
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Armed groups in Syria have an estimated several hundred portable anti-aircraft missiles that could easily be used by extremists to destroy low-flying commercial planes, according to a new report by a respected international research group. It cites the risk that the missiles could be smuggled out of Syria by terrorists.The new report estimated that several hundred anti-aircraft missile systems were already in rebel arsenals.The most immediate danger is that anti-aircraft weapons, especially newer and sophisticated models, could easily be diverted to extremist groups operating outside Syria, it said. Schroeder said eight different MANPADS models had turned up in Syria.A third new model spotted inside Syria has yet to be identified, Schroeder said.
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