From Low-Intensity Conflict To Hybrid Warfare: MANPADS At The Hands of PKK

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The threat landscape that Turkey faces against ISIS’ rocket campaign, terror attacks in population centers and an urban low-intensity conflict with the PKK, has been further complicated by the introduction of advanced man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS) into the scene. The PKK downed a Turkish AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopter with an advanced SA-18 Russian/Soviet made MANPADS on May 13, 2016, marking the first use of advanced third-generation MANPADS by the terrorist organization. Such systems pose significant threats to both military and commercial aviation. Now with the threat of advanced MANPADS proliferation and trafficking, Turkey’s low intensity conflict may be metastasizing into hybrid warfare, which necessitates an overhauled political-military response and adaptation.

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