Islamic Front shows off artisanal weaponry


April 30, 2014

MADE IN SAR: The Islamic Front published a “report” Tuesday purporting to show “the first complete production lines for producing arms for the Syrian revolution,” with rebels crafting homemade mortar shells and rockets.

“The phrase ‘made in Syria’ has been much repeated recently among Syria’s mujahideen,” says the video’s narrator, cutting between images of rebel fighters crafting weapons in a warehouse.

“Most of the weapons and the ammunition used in most of the battles in Syria originated in local workshops, and it’s taken a long time and a lot of experience before we arrived at the point where we are now,” the narrator adds.  

“We started out producing mines and different types and sizes of hand grenades,” says a bearded, turbaned fighter seated at a desk adorned with papers and mortar shells.

“From there we went on to produce rocket casings and primitive mortar shells, first 79 millimeter, then 120, 100, 200 and 250,” he adds.

The new footage comes a week after Islamic Front member-group Suqour a-Sham claimed to have successfully manufactured a Jaheem—or “Hell”—cannons after “three months of continuous work.

“The cannon is distinctive for its ability to fire shells weighing more than 200 kilograms at a range of almost five kilometers,” writes pro-opposition news site Sham Life.

Rebels have long complained of inadequate military support from their international backers, although opposition groups in Idlib and Daraa provinces have recently released footage of their fighters using what appear to be American-made anti-tank weapons.

“The factory is producing large quantities of shells on a monthly basis to cover most fronts in the Syrian arena, including about 1,000 shells every month,” says the video’s narrator, who provides no information about the site’s location.

Video courtesy of Free Syria 2011.

-April 30, 2014

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