Syria militants get new missiles from foreign backers: Sources
Iran Press TV
Sat Feb 13, 2016 6:24AM
Takfiri militants in Syria have reportedly received new supplies of Grad missiles from their foreign supporters in the face of their recent losses against the Syrian army.
Two militant commanders have told Reuters that their forces in Syria have been provided in "excellent quantities" with the ground-to-ground missiles that have a range of 20 kilometers (12 miles).
"It is excellent additional fire power for us," one of the sources was quoted as saying.
The other militant commander said the missiles were being used to target Syrian army positions beyond the front line. "They give the factions longer reach," he said.
The rise in foreign support for the terror groups come as Syrian armed forces, backed by the Russian air force, are advancing against militants on several fronts, particularly in the northwestern province of Aleppo near the Turkish border.
Syrian soldiers have managed to cut major militant supply routes from Turkey, which has long severed as the main gateway for transit of new militant recruits and weapons in to the Arab country.
Sources on the ground say the Takfiri terrorists operating in Aleppo are on the brink of total collapse in the face of army advances.
The Saudi-backed Syrian opposition has also asked for supplies of anti-aircraft missiles.
"If we had these, this would solve the problem of Syria," opposition spokesman Salim al-Muslat said of the weapons. He said surface-to-air missiles would help them confront Russian aircraft.
"We really guarantee that they do not go anywhere - that they will be in the hands of the moderates under the eye of our friends, whether European or American," Muslat said.
The United States, along with its allies, has long been supporting what it calls "moderate" militants fighting to topple the Assad government.
Some of such militant groups have also received military training overseen by the CIA in Syria's neighboring countries.
The Pentagon has on several occasions airdropped weapons for militants. Some of the weapons have ended up in the hands of Daesh terrorists.
Damascus has denounced US classification of 'terrorists' to moderate and extremist, saying whoever takes up arms against the Syrian nation is a terrorist.
On Friday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad vowed to retake the entire Arab state from foreign-backed terrorists.
The Syrian leader said it would be possible to "put an end to this problem in less than a year" if all terrorists' supply routes from Turkey, Jordan and Iraq were cut.
The foreign-sponsored conflict in Syria, which flared in March 2011, has claimed the lives of some 470,000 people and left 1.9 million injured, according to the Syrian Center for Policy Research.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|