Written by Brian Betts exclusively for SouthFront
In early July of 2016, the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA), along with allies such as Jabhat al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham, launched an assault on Latakia. The primary focus of the attack was the largely Christian town of Kinsabba. The attacking force was comprised of criminals and foreign fighters.
In what seems to be proof-of-death footage, a flurry of recent video posts highlight victories won by the rebels against pro-government forces in northern, coastal regions of Syria. Much of the footage reviewed in the following article features tube-launched, optically tracked, wire-guided (TOW) missile systems. Provided by the United States, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, this particular weapon system has taken a heavy toll on Syrian Arab Army (SAA) positions in the mountainous region of Latakia. The ongoing supply of TOW systems is contingent upon the rebel groups posting the gruesome footage of their successes (The video was deleted from Youtube).
An Ahrar al-Sham Islamist commander briefs his men. Faces are clearly strained and tense with the prospect of looming battle in the dark.
A young fighter’s voice cracks as he proclaims dominance for Ahrar al-Sham.
An Ahrar al-Sham technical with a mounted ZU-23-2 spews flames and sparks as it slings 23mm shells downrange at SAA forces.
Ahrar al-Sham fighters brace as they risk brief bursts of suppressive fire over dirt emplacements. Flares can be seen in the background, illuminating the battlefield around Kinsabba.
Meanwhile, FSA fighters travel by foot and by truck, securing the territory overlooking Kinsabba and pausing for the occasional chant.
FSA 1st Coastal Division fighters scramble to cover ground in the village of Kinsabba. Buildings in the image above indicate a clear level of destruction that suggests prolonged struggle. Indeed, Kinsabba has been a hotbed of conflict for the entirety of 2016.
The spoils of war. FSA 1st Coastal Division fighters capture an artillery piece outside Kinsabba.
As anti-Syrian government criminals launched attacks on Bashoura village, new footage of TOW missile strikes began popping up on various pro-rebel Twitter feeds.
After securing Kinsabba, FSA 1st Coastal Division fighters launched TOW missile attacks on 14.5mm machine gun bunkers.
A TOW missile streaks towards an SAA bunker. The 14.5mm machine gun crew has no time to react to the incoming threat.
A #Fagot #ATGM takes out an #Assadist improvised 14,5mm gun bunker pic.twitter.com/MInOIGNeF0
— XI. (@Interbrigades) July 1, 2016
Although the screengrab from the video above claims to depict the destruction of a pro-Government occupied building in Bashoura, no military activity can be seen. The 1st Coastal Division launched many identical attacks on prospective targets around the town of Kinsabba.
Two 1st Coastal Division fighters assemble a TOW system. After arming their weapon, the FSA fighters destroy a bulldozer operating in the area around Bashoura.
It’s hilarious how these ‘moderate opposition’ groups carry on in the exact same fashion as al-Nusra and ISIS do.
South Front’s editorial policy on these guys is like a weather vane shoved up Lavrov’s butt. – Every time they work on a “ceasefire” we get this kind of garbage for a week or two. Blech…
Why are we giving Nusrats free publicity here? Bad guys use TOW missiles, what else is new? – I don’t understand South Front’s editorial policy. Sometimes you guys omit any bad news at all but then sometimes you basically run propaganda for Daesh/Nusra. I have to search endlessly for Deir Ezzor updates but I hear about Manbij every single day. You blatantly lied to us about the fall of the Kurdish district of Aleppo but then you faithfully report American kill-counts as if they were valid. – If your readers wanted to watch SAA die getting shot up by TOW missiles there are plenty of other places to do it. Why here? Who the hell is “Brian Betts”? When does your senior editor come back?! – Your readers want “military sitreps” and analysis of the battlefield and surrounding politics, not this…
Russia should definitely use tactical nukes on them. And on Saudi Arabia.
update: ahrar al sham destroys a regime tank with a kornet https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jKiRqKSJ4U
ahrar al sham also takes out another tank with a konkurs atgm (video falsely identifies it as a kornet) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2Vqov1xUnI