On July 12, the al-Qaeda-affiliated “Wa Harid al-Muminin” operations room released new photos showing its militants shelling Syrian military positions in northern Lattakia with a Turkish-made HY-12 mortar.
The HY-12 is a licensed copy of the French MO-120-RT [Mortier de 120mm Rayé Tracté Modèle F1] manufactured by Turkey’s MKEK. The 120mm mortar has a range of more than 8km and can fire 6-10 rounds per minute.
The Turkish-made mortar was apparently used in the July 9 large-scale attack in northern Lattakia, which was led by several al-Qaeda groups. Dozens of Syrian Arab Army (SAA) personnel were reportedly killed, injured or captured in the attack.
HY-12 mortars were spotted before with the Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP), which is also affiliated with al-Qaeda. Prior to that, militants of the Turkish-backed National Front for Liberation (NFL) shelled the SAA’s positons in northern Hama with this type of mortar.
Several recent reports revealed that Turkey has resumed its military support for armed groups in Greater Idlib. The HY-12 mortar was apparently one of the heavy weapons supplied by Ankara.