It’s been reported that a total of three thousand militants in Syria has voluntarily joined the cease-fire agreement and handed over its weapons to the government forces. It took 52 buses to transport these militants together with their families from the outskirts of Damascus suburb to the Syrian province of Idlib. The militants have handed over 500 units of small arms, including sniper rifles, and a couple dozens of 120-millimeter mortars. As for the situation in Aleppo, the Syrian army has been applying so much pressure on the Jabhat al-Nusra militants that they’re not just retreating from the city, they flee in panic, leaving back documents, equipment and weapons. It’s been reported that American-made missile systems were found in the liberated areas of Aleppo.
It’s now a well-established fact that on various levels the CIA and the Pentagon have been secretly supplying the so-called “rebels” with TOWs and MANPADS, as it has previously been reported by a number of European media sources. Thus, the German magazine Focus, citing one of the commanders of the terrorist organization Jabhat al-Nusra reported that radical militants in Syria were receiving TOWs from the United States directly.
Additionally, there’s been programs aimed at arming the so-called “moderate” Syrian opposition indirectly, by urging Saudi Arabia to hand them over BGM-71 TOW so they could fight Syrian armoured vehicles more effectively. And each time, instead of answering questions about US arms supplies to radical militants at the US Congress hearings, the Obama administration officials were saying that they were “unable to discuss such questions in public.”
At the same time ISIS was obtaining weapons made in Eastern Europe. As it has been stated by the director of Conflict Armament Research, James Bevan, last summer his company traced a direct source of arms supplies to Islamic extremists from Europe. Sometimes it took small arms mere weeks to reach Iraq and Syria, the expert on illegal weapons tracking said.
Analysts of the British military journal Jane’s Defence Weekly have recently established that the FBO has released two solicitations in recent months looking for shipping companies to transport explosive material from Eastern Europe to the Jordanian port of Aqaba on behalf of the US Navy’s Military Sealift Command. The cargo listed in the document included AK-47 rifles, PKM general-purpose machine guns, DShK heavy machine guns, RPG-7 rocket launchers, and 9K111M Faktoria anti-tank guided weapon (ATGW) systems. The Faktoria is an improved version of the 9K111 Fagot ATGW, the primary difference being that its missile has a tandem warhead for defeating explosive reactive armour (ERA) fitted to some tanks.
At the same a jihadist media source known as the Sham Center has announced that in the province of Hama radical militants launched three MANPADS rockets simultaneously, damaging a SU-24 of the Syrian Air Force. This tactics seriously increases one’s chances of bringing down a jet, but you need a lot of MANPADS to employ it. Therefore, large amounts of those are being shipped to the north of Syria, where the Syrian army troops supported by Russian aircraft continue liberating the city of Aleppo.
There’s every reason to believe that we’re witnessing a CIA operation of buying and delivering Soviet-made MANPADS to the Middle East. The SA-18 Grouse and SA-24 Grinch are capable of downing aircraft flying at 2000 miles at a distance of 4500 miles. Its capabilities are comparable to the famous US-made Stingers, which the CIA was supplying to the Taliban back in 1980s to fight the Soviet Air Force in Afghanistan.
However, if these deliveries were kept a secret earlier, now Washington sees no reason to hide its wrongdoings, as it is fully aware of the bitter failure of its policies in the Middle East. Now the Obama has adopted a bill approving the procedure of supplying the so-called Syrian “opposition” with MANPADS officially.
The loophole was left in the budget of the US Ministry of Defense for 2017 and it was adopted by the House of Representatives on Friday. Before that US lawmakers didn’t try not regulate the shipments of MANPADS to Syria, but they didn’t introduce a direct ban either.
Now we can witness radical militants in Syria being armed with something way more serious than MANPADS, like mobile anti-aircraft guns and sophisticated anti-tank weapons. Neither ISIS, nor Jabhat al-Nusra is getting its combat aviation in the foreseeable future. Clearly, since Washington is convinced that the groups it has been supporting have passed the test on their “moderateness”, so it can go along and hand them over any sort of weapons out of the US military arsenal. And it’s clear that this step is not aimed at the Syrian Air Force, but Russian military jets operating in Syria instead.