Two recommended reads on the conflict in Syria. The first is a photo-easy from The Atlantic highlighting the use of (very) improvised weaponry by the anti-Al Assad insurgents, while the second from the London Review of Books takes an insider’s look at the fractious nature of the insurgency. Can I also recommend a related series of posts from the Brown Moses Blog which examine in detail the wide range of munitions deployed by the insurgency and the Syrian military. The various state and non-state “actors” at play behind the scenes in the civil war in Syria are frequently revealed through the weapons in use by the several sides in the conflict.
For instance the video below, published to YouTube, seems to show the downing of a Syrian military Mil Mi-17, the export designation of the Russian-made Mi-8M helicopter, through the use of an unknown type of MANPAD (man-portable air-defence system – what used to be popularly known as a SAM missile). It’s been suggested that the weapon in question is an FN-6, China’s base anti-aircraft missile system, which has been supplied both to Pakistan and Sudan.