Bellingcat

Friday, 15 March 2013

More Videos Of Croatian Weapons With Non-FSA Islamists, Salafists, and Jihadists

A couple of videos have caught my eye today that yet again show weapons from Croatia, supposedly provided to FSA groups "viewed as nationalist and secular", turning up with groups that it's unlikely they were intended for.  Firstly, this video shows a pair of M79 Osa rocket pods with Tajamo Ansar al-Islam, part of the Syrian Liberation Front, a coalition of Islamist groups separate from the Free Syrian Army


Filmed in Daraya, Damascus, it's possible they have acquired these weapons from the Ababil Horan Brigade, who have previously been seen using large numbers of Croatian weapons in the area, or possibly one of the allies of the Ababil Horan Brigade.  The Syrian Liberation Front is regarded as a more moderate group of Salafists and Mulsim Brotherhood inspired Islamists, with this next video showing a Croatian M60 recoilless gun with a group fighting alongside members of the much less moderate Syrian Islamic Front


This video is from "Operation Ibshari Aleppo" led by the Syrian Islamic Front, aiming to capture the town of Khan Touman, as well as ammo depots in the surrounding area.  A statement announcing the operation states the following groups are involved:

- Syrian Islamic Front
Shura al-Mujahideen
- Jabhat al-Nusra
Liwa al-Haq

In the case of the first three groups it cannot be said that these groups are what would be considered "moderate Islamists", and they certainly aren't part of the Free Syrian Army.

What this yet again highlights is how despite the best efforts of those providing the weapons from Croatia it's really impossible to ensure these weapons don't spread beyond the groups they are intended for, especially when many Free Syrian Army groups fight alongside groups outside of the Free Syrian Army on a regular basis.

As an aside, it's also worth noting the large amount of ammo captured today at Khan Touman, including crates full of 122mm grad rockets, AT-3 anti-tank missiles, and other unidentified crates of ammo.

Big thanks to Charles Lister for help with this post.

Update March 16th 2013 Thanks to Mads Dahl for sending me this video of Liwa al-Islam, members of the Syrian Liberation Front, with a Croatian M60 recoilless gun to attack the 39th Brigade base near Adra, northeast of Damascus


It's also worth noting that this is by far the furthest north I've seen any Croatian weapons that have been involved in fighting in Daraa and Damascus.

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

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