Powerful Antitank Missiles Put U.S. Forces in Middle East at Risk by Ben Kesling – Wall Street Journal
A U.S. program begun in mid-2013 provided weapons including ATGM missiles to rebels fighting the Assad regime in Syria. Mr. Trump later canceled the program, saying in a 2017 interview with The Wall Street Journal that it allowed weapons to fall into al Qaeda hands.
“There is absolutely the possibility that the U.S. may face some of the same ATGMs it has delivered in the past to the Middle East,” said Omar Lamrani, a senior military analyst with the Austin, Texas-based defense-intelligence firm Stratfor. Islamic State and al Qaeda offshoots, among others, now possess American-made missiles, he added.
Those and other nonstate actors in the Middle East also have antitank missiles—some of them based on U.S. designs—manufactured in Bulgaria, China, France, Iran and Russia, according to analysts who track weapons proliferation.
Unlike a typical rocket-propelled grenade, which has a range of a few hundred yards and can’t be steered, a modern ATGM typically is fired from a mile or more away and then directed to its target using video-game-like controls…