The Daily Telegraph reported on May 9 that the Army now believes the Lynx helicopter shot down over central Basra at last weekend was most probably hit by a surface-to-air missile, obtained possibly from neighboring Iran, after missile casings were discovered on the third floor of a nearby building.
The discovery, if confirmed, will be a worrying development for British operations in Iraq, which are increasingly reliant on helicopter "air bridges" to move men and equipment to reduce the risk of convoys being ambushed by roadside bombs.
The discarded missile parts were located when a search was conducted of the building as British troops swept the surrounding area.
The missile is understood to have been identified as a Russian-made weapon that can be packed into a golf bag and quickly assembled and fired by one person with minimal training.
Many Iraqi groups have expressed concerns lately that Iran's influence has expanded to Iraqi parliament.