During its military operation in the southern governorate of Daraa, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) seized French-made APILAS anti-tank weapons from the Free Syrian Army (FSA). According to local observers, this is the first time such weapons fall into the hands of government forces.
The APLIAS is a portable one-shot 112 mm recoilless anti-tank weapon, designed in France by GIAT Industries. The weapon is capable of hitting targets as far as 500meters away and can penetrate 720mm of rolled homogeneous armour (RHA) or 2m of concrete.
The French-made weapon was first spotted during the battle of Tha’lah in June of 2015. Back then, fighters of the US-backed FSA group Amoud Hurran Division were observed using the weapon against the SAA.
According to Syrian pro-government activists, the weapon was likely supplied to the FSA through Jordan. However, it is still unknown if the Jordanian military, which operates APILAS, was the source of the weapon, or if it was shipped all the way from France.
Earlier this week, former fighters of the FSA in Daraa handed over twelve French made MILAN anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) to the SAA. Pro-government activists said that these missiles were also supplied to the FSA through Jordan.
These weapons expose the Western support for the militants in southern Syria and pose a serious threat for the security in the entire region.