According to reports, ‘moderate’ opposition groups in the southern Syrian province of Daraa have received a large number of man-portable air-defense systems (MANPAD), paid for by regional Arab backers.
A large number of man-portable air-defense systems (MANPAD), paid for by regional Arab backers, has been delivered to ‘moderate’ opposition groups in the southern Syrian province of Daraa, the Fars news agency reported on Saturday, citing the Arabic-language version of the official website of the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).
As Fars quoted the SOHR, ‘moderate’ groups in northern Daraa have received hundreds of the 9K32 Strela-2 low-altitude surface-to-air missile systems, also known as the SA-7 Grail and called the Cobra by militants from east European countries. The 9K32 Strela-2 is used to target low-attitude flying planes.
According to the report, a large amount of money has been spent by regional Arab countries to purchase the Cobra systems, which have been used by ‘moderate’ opposition groups in Dael in northern Daraa to target Syrian fighter jets.
At the same time, the report revealed that ‘moderate’ groups across Syria have also received thousands of the US-made TOW missiles and the Gards.
As Fars noted, in September, a field commander of the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (previously known as the Al-Nusra Front) terrorist group, Abu Al Ezz, said that the US had provided the group with the TOW anti-tank missiles, which were used against the Syrian Army. The commander also pointed out that military advisers and experts in usage of rockets, satellites, reconnaissance and thermographic cameras were provided to the group by Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the US.
“The United States supports the Syrian militant group, but not directly. They [Americans] support the countries, which support us. However, we are still not satisfied with this support. They should support us with sophisticated weapons,” Fars quoted his words.
Al Ezz also claimed that some battles were won by his group thanks to the TOW missiles, and noted that tanks were delivered to the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham from Libya via Turkey.
As Al Ezz said in an interview to the Kolner Stadt-Anzeiger newspaper, the Syrian army surpasses terrorists only with combat aircraft, missile launchers and missiles. He also once again stressed that control over some areas was taken by the group thanks to the US TOW missiles, delivered directly to the group.
Earlier this month, a Russian helicopter, delivering humanitarian aid to the province of Hama, was attacked by the Islamic State (IS) terrorists, who used MANPAD. Reportedly, terrorists received two MANPADS from unknown parties across the border in Iraq on October 6.