Bellingcat

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Are Yugoslavian Anti-Tank Weapons Being Smuggled Into Syria?

In the past few weeks a number of videos have been appearing from the Horan region of Syria showing a new type of rocket launcher, one that I believe had not been seen in use by the Syrian opposition until recent weeks





The weapon featured in the above videos is the M79 Osa anti-tank weapon, originally manufactured in Yugoslavia, and now manufactured in Serbia, the Republic of Macedonia, and in Croatia as the RL90 M95.  Apart from a controversial report claiming they had been sold to the Syria government it appears the Syrian military does not use M79 Osas, and having watched pretty much every video of captured equipment that's come out of Syria I've never seen them being looted from the Syrian military by the opposition.  So this leaves the question of how the Syrian opposition are getting their hands on them.  Two videos from Syrian State TV may provide some clues.  First of all this video showing a haul of captured equipment, which gets very excited about the presence of Made In Israel bandages and "Israeli" M72 LAW anti tank weapons, but also features something else relevant to M79 Osas


Here we get a clear view of the markings, stating it's a M79 90mm round, and a good shot of the rocket container


The M79 rockets come in containers that attach to the rear of the rocket launcher, images of which can be seen here.  We also have a second video from State TV showing what's claimed to be a large haul of seized weapons, which includes well over 100 M79 rocket containers


Now State TV has a less than stellar track record when it comes to accurately reporting events, but what's interesting about the above video is State TV claims it was filmed in Daraa, in the Horan region, where the vast majority of the M79 Osa videos have been coming from.

Does this prove these are being smuggled into Syria?  It's hard to be certain, with the status of the report on their sale to Syria being up in the air, and State TVs past issues with reporting events in a truthful manner, but it's something worth keeping an eye on in he future.


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You can contact the author on Twitter @brown_moses or by email at brownmoses@gmail.com



1 comment:

  1. Bosnia (it's Muslim part) is supporting FSA and have strong ties with Turkey and Saudi Arabia. It was just a matter of time when Ex Yugoslavian weapons will reach this part of the world. It's either Turkey or Israel involved in the traficking of these weapons. Syria is burning, money is flowing and Israel profits in every way...

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