How Can Syrian Militants Receive Thousands of US-Made Anti-Tank Missiles?

Thursday, November 26, 2015
By Paul Martin

The footage of a Russian helicopter being destroyed by Syrian rebels with a US-made BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missile has recently been shown by numerous media outlets across the globe.

In early-October, BBC journalist Frank Gardner reported citing an unnamed Saudi source that the kingdom had delivered another batch of 500 TOW anti-tank missiles to Free Syrian Army rebels. The news made headlines in media across the world. Then, the question arose: how many anti-tank missiles do Syrian rebels have and how they get them?

Some days later, the US delivered 50 tons of weapons to the so-called moderate Syrian opposition, saying there were only light firearms and ammunition. But not everyone believed that.

According to The Washington Post, the BGM-71 TOW missiles were delivered to Syrian rebels under a two-year-old covert program coordinated between the US and its allies in the region. After Russia launched its military operation against terrorists in Syria, the supplies were increased. Rebels call the missile the “Assad Tamer”. Recently, they have been used successfully to slow the offensive of the Syrian Army and its allies.

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