The first combat use of the Igla-1E was during the Gulf War. On January 17, 1991, a Panavia Tornado bomber of the Royal Air Force was shot down by an Iraqi MANPADS that may have been an Igla-1E (or Strela-3) after an unsuccessful bombing mission.
In addition, an Igla-1E shot down an American F-16 on 27 February 1991. The pilot was captured.
Private intelligence company Stratfor asserts that Igla-1E missiles were used in the 1994 shoot down of a Rwandan government flight, killing the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi and sparking the Rwandan Genocide.
During the Cenepa War between Ecuador and Peru, both the Ecuadorian Army and the Peruvian Army (which had 90 functioning firing units) utilized Igla-1E missiles against aircraft and helicopters.
A Peruvian Air Force Mi-25 attack helicopter was shot down on February 7, 1995 around Base del Sur, killing the 3 crewmen, while an Ecuadorian Air Force A-37 Dragonfly was hit but managed to land on February 11. Hits on additional Ecuadorian aircraft were claimed but could not be confirmed.
During Operation Deliberate Force, on August 30, 1995; a French Mirage 2000D was shot down over Pale with an Igla fired by air defence units of the Army of Republika Srpska. The pilots, Lt. Jose-Manuel Souvignet (pilot) and Capt. Frederic Chiffot (back-seater), were captured and freed in December 1995.
The 2002 Khankala Mi-26 crash occurred on August 19, 2002 when a team of Chechen seperatists with an Igla brought down a Russian Mil Mi-26 helicopter in a minefield and resulted in the death of 127 Russian soldiers in the greatest loss of life in the history of helicopter aviation. It was also the most deadly aviation disaster ever suffered by the Russian armed forces, as well as their worst loss of life in a single day since 1999.
On January 25, 2014, the militant group Ansar Bait al-Maqdis shot down an Egyptian Mi-17 over the northern Sinai peninsula using a suspected Igla-1E or Igla. How the group came to obtain the weapon is currently unknown.
On 23 March 2015, a Libya Dawn-operated MiG-23UB was shot down with an Igla-S (reportedly a truck-mounted Strelets variant) while bombing Al Watiya airbase (near Zintan), controlled by forces from the internationally-recognized Council of Deputies. Both pilots were killed.
Video has surfaced showing rebels using an Igla-1E on a Syrian government helicopter. Such weapons were believed to have been looted from a Syrian army base in Aleppo in February 2013. Alternatively these missiles could have been supplied by Turkey or Qatar via Croatia. In 2014, a member of the rebel group Harakat Hazm was filmed aiming an Igla-1E into the air on the same day that the group was filmed operating BGM-71 TOW missiles. Whether these weapons were raided from regime stockpiles or supplied via overseas is unknown.
On June 14, 2014,rebel forces near Luhansk International Airport in Eastern Ukraine shot down an IL-76 of the Ukrainian Airforce probably using an Igla MANPADS, killing all 49 Ukrainian service personnel on board.
On 12 November 2014, Azerbaijani forces shot down an Armenian Army Mi-24 of a formation of two which were flying near the Azerbaijani border. All three onboard died when the helicopter crashed while flying at low altitude and was hit by an Igla-S MANPADS fired by Azerbaijani soldiers.