Syrian ‘moderate’ opposition groups have received new surface-to-surface rocket launchers from several foreign states in order to resist a major Russian-backed offensive in Aleppo.
Syrian ‘moderate’ opposition has received the Grad surface-to-surface rocket launchers, a type of weapons that they have never had before, from several foreign states, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing opposition commander Colonel Fares al-Bayoush. The decision to supply the rocket launchers was made in connection with a major Russian-backed offensive in Aleppo.
According to the commander, the Grad rocket launchers with a range of 22 km and 40 km, which were supplied in a large amount, will be used on battle fronts in Aleppo, Hama and the coastal region.
Al-Bayoush stressed that although ‘opposition fighters’ have previously been provided with the Grad, this is the first time, when this particular type of the rocket launchers had been delivered to them. He noted that each salvo contains 40 rockets, but did not give further details. The Colonel also added that previous rocket launchers of ‘rebels’ were captured from army stores.
According to al-Bayoush, the opposition has repeatedly demanded supply of antiaircraft missile systems, but still has not received it, while other terrorist groups, including the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (previously known as the Al-Nusra Front or the Jabhat al-Nusra) and the Islamic State (IS) have already started to use such weapons systems.
A video, published online on Monday, shows fighters of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), using the Grad rocket launchers against positions of the Syrian Army near Aleppo. Al-Bayoush confirmed that the launchers, shown on video, were a part of the latest supply.
‘Moderate’ opposition groups, fighting at the side of the FSA, have received military aid from states, opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, via a US-backed coordination centre in Turkey.