Posted by Joshua on Saturday, February 16th, 2013
Ten anti-Tank rockets have been acquired by the Syrian Supreme Military Council, led by Brigadier Selim Idris. Each costs between $20 to 25 thousand. This is a photo of one taken today.
Addendum: Pirouz writes:
This is a M79 Osa (Wasp) 90 mm portable anti-tank rocket launcher, a Yugoslavian/Serbian modernized variant of the French-made LRAC F1 -unguided rocket
The weapons have been handed over to Abu Ali Sulaibi, commander of the front-line, Saif al-Dawla area of Aleppo. “He lives in the district with his wife, Um Ali, three daughters, a son, and a cat named Sanjoob, or Squirrel,” wrote Ghaith Abdul Ahad. Fifty metres from Abu Ali’s sector, across the Saif al-Dawla Boulevard, an array of shattered buildings is occupied by government troops. They are close enough that during lulls in the shooting they can continue the conflict by shouting abuse.
Why have these weapons been supplied now? Who approved them? We don’t know. It is said that these weapons may have come from Libya and have been sitting in Turkey for some time but approval “may not have been” given for them to be released. It seems that this has changed as of late.
Abdul Ahad writes of Abu Ali:
Abu Ali’s brothers had actively opposed the rule of Bashar al-Assad’s father, Hafez, joining the Muslim Brotherhood in the 80s. In their fight against the state, one of the brothers was killed and another spent 15 years in jail.
Abu Ali chose a different path, training to be an assistant engineer. He got a job with the government. Life was good. “I had a good income, my own car and my own house,” he says. “My kids used to go to the best schools and we had a perfect family life.
“When Bashar [al-Assad] came to power I disagreed with my father and brother. I said he would be good, that things would change.”
But little did change, and when the revolution came in 2011, Abu Ali was one of the first people to take up arms in Aleppo. With a group of friends he formed a small armed unit to target security forces.
“See this pistol,” he says, pulling the weapon from his belt and placing it on the floor. “The first bullet in Aleppo was fired from this pistol.”
The small girl grabs at the shiny gun but he snatches it away. “I knew there wouldn’t be a revolution without violence, and the people of Aleppo needed someone to drag them into the revolution.”
“He was the first who carried weapons and I encouraged him,” says Um Ali, who trained as a mechanical engineer. “His parents and family blamed me and still blame me. He was hesitant in the beginning because he had three children, but I encouraged him.
“He used to go out without telling me where, but I knew it was to do with the revolution. I used to pray for him and felt ashamed in front of God because I was praying only for him.”
He has been hit several times in the fighting: he shows two shrapnel wounds on his head and pulls up his T-shirt to reveal a depression under his right shoulder blade where a machine gun bullet struck him. He is often referred to as the “majnoon” – the madman – for his reckless bravery….
… After dinner he becomes reflective: “I mix everything. Filth with honesty. Street language with religion. I have mixed all the revolutions in me. I am the Bolshevik revolution, the French revolution. I am the modern Guevara.
“Do you know, I am so special. My wife hates it when I say this, but I have had angels fight with me. Many times. In battle, I can feel myself flying,” he says. “Flying above the ground.”
Here is video of the Saif al-Dawla district at the very outset of the revolution before it had been destroyed by fighting
Ahrar Al Sham – attacking an Army checkpoint in Saif al-Dawla, Aleppo - Sep 30, 2012