Persistent Perils: Illicit MANPADS in the MENA Region

Matt Schroeder

Since 1970, armed groups have hit dozens of civilian aircraft with man-portable air defence systems (MANPADS), killing more than 1,000 civilians. The international community has taken numerous steps to reduce illicit proliferation, but armed groups in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region continue to acquire and use these systems.

Persistent Perils: Illicit MANPADS in the MENA Region—a new Report from the Small Arms Survey’s Security Assessment In North Africa (SANA) project—provides an in-depth analysis of the proliferation of MANPADS in North Africa and the Middle East from 2015–23. Drawing on imagery and data collected since 2015 to identify the type, model, generation, and country of design/manufacture of illicit MANPADS in the region, the Report assesses the implications of recent proliferation patterns for regional security and international norms and agreements.  

Keywords: Armed groups MANPADS Illicit trafficking SANA North Africa Middle East