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Syria seizes French anti-tank weapons in Dara’a: Report

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
French-made anti-tank weapon systems seized in the southern Syrian province of Dara’a. (Via Defence Blog)

The Syrian army has reportedly seized two sophisticated French-made anti-tank weapon systems in the southern Province of Dara’a, where it is conducting anti-terror operations.

The arms, seized in Jadal village, were referred to as 112-mm APILAS (Armor-Piercing Infantry Light Arm System), online military magazine Defence Blog reported on Tuesday.

“Local media have released imagery showing two captured APILAS anti-tank weapon systems developed in France by GIAT Industries,” it said.

Currently known as Nexter Systems, GIAT Industries is a French government-owned arms manufacturer.

France is accused of backing anti-Damascus militancy since 2011.

The use of the APILAS anti-tank weapon system had also been spotted in Syria before, the magazine wrote, saying “as early as 2015, a couple of systems of this type were seized from Free Syrian Army (FSA) militants.”

Ammunitions seized along French-made anti-tank weapon systems are laid on the ground in the village of Jadal in the southern Syrian province of Dara’a. (Via Defence Blog)

The FSA has been enjoying ample Western support, most notably from the United States. Washington, however, recently told the militants that it would no longer stand behind them in southern Syria right before the government was about to start the counterterrorism push.

So far, over 120,000 of the APILAS launchers have been produced and handed over to such countries in the region as Saudi Arabia and Jordan, said the magazine.

After liberating Dara’a, Damascus hopes to free its neighboring provinces of Quneitra and Suwaida of terrorist presence, too. The three provinces form the Arab country’s southern tip near the border with Jordan.

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