On October 31, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) uncovered hundreds of mines during a search operation around the town of Bariqa in the western Quneitra countryside, according to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA). The mines were hidden inside a shipping container that had been buried underground near the separation fence with the occupied Golan Heights.
“We uncovered a large underground depot that contains many anti-tanks mines, which were removed from the ceasefire line [between Syria and the Golan Heights],” an SAA officer told the Syrian-state TV.
The mines’ type was identified as the Soviet-made anti-tank TM-57, which has 6.34kg of explosives. This type of mines is usually used by radical groups to make improvised explosive devices (IEDs) or even to booby-trap vehicles and buildings.
These anti-tank mines were likely left behind by militants of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), who had withdrawn from their positions in Quneitra in July under a deal with the Damascus government. HTS militants may have planned to use these mines to carry out terrorist attacks in the future.
Several similar weapons caches were found in southern Syria during the last few months. Two days ago, a large depot containing TOW anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) and other US-supplied weapons was uncovered in Quneitra.