Bellingcat

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Evidence Of Jabhat al-Nusra With Croatian Weapons

In recent weeks I've been tracking the spread of arms purchased from Croatia by Saudi Arabia which were then sent to what were meant to be moderate Free Syrian Army groups via Jordan.  Already there's been examples of groups such as Ahrar al-Sham and other militant Islamist groups using these weapons, and there's now evidence that Jabhat al-Nusra has been using these weapons.


This first image of a M79 Osa  titled "One of JAN lions fighting to liberate Alsahweh brigade", taken from this Jabhat al-Nusra statement, comes from a joint operation with other opposition groups to capture a military base outside of Al Sahweh, Daraa that took place in the middle of February, and involved a number of groups using a large number of weapons provided by Saudi Arabia from Croatia in the battle.


The second image is taken from this report, and shows a M60 recoilless gun being used to attack an army outpost, Hajez Barad, in Busr al-Harir, Daraa, on March 2nd.  From late December 2012 onwards Busr al-Harir has been the scene of heavy fighting when multiple opposition groups attacked Syrian army forces in the town using large numbers of the Croatian weapons provided by Saudi Arabia.

In both cases multiple opposition groups were involved with the fighting, many of which were the original intended recipients of these weapons, so it's possible that Jabhat al-Nusra received these weapons from those groups during the battles.  It's unclear how many weapons they received, but it'll be another aspect of the Croatian arms story I'll be tracking in the coming weeks and months.

Thanks to @troublejee for his help with this piece.

Update March 28th 2013 This video from Al Jazeera Arabic shows a M79 Osa in the hands of Jabhat al-Nusra in Damascus.


Related Articles
Croatian Weapons Arrive In Homs
More Videos Of Croatian Weapons With Non-FSA Islamists, Salafists, and Jihadi
Video Shows Non-FSA Jihadists Ahrar al-Sham Using Croatian Weapons
More Background On Croatian Weapons In Syria
Foreign Smuggled Weapons Spread Northwards Into Syria
Youtube playlist - M79 Osa Sightings in Syria
Youtube playlist - M60 Recoilless Gun Sightings in Syria
Youtube playlist - RBG-6 Sightings in Syria
Youtube playlist - RPG-22 Sightings in Syria

You can contact the author on Twitter @brown_moses or by email at brownmoses@gmail.com



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