Newly taken photos show terrorist groups fighting the government forces in Northern and Northwestern Syria are now using heavy weapons made in France, media reports said.
The photos taken from terrorist groups, specially from the al-Nusra Front and the so-called Sham and Iraq Islamic Emirate, in Jebel al-Zawiya in Reef (outskirts of) Idlib in Northwestern Syria and al-Maghirat region in Northern Reef Aleppo in the Northern parts of the Muslim country show that they are using French anti-tank missiles, named as MILAN, the Arabic-language al-Haqiqa news website reported.
The report added that the terrorists have managed to destroy few Syrian army tanks and armored vehicles by using MILAN anti-tank missiles in Reef Idlib and Aleppo city in the past two weeks.
MILAN has a range of three kilometers and uses wired control system.
The European Union recently revoked the previous bans on dispatch of weapons to armed groups in Syria despite opposition of some western countries.
It is not clear yet if the terrorist groups have received the MILAN missiles directly from France or through Libyan terrorist groups. In 2011 when NATO invaded Libya to topple the Qaddafi’s regime, France supplied Libyan terrorist groups with similar weapons to fight against the government forces.
Earlier this year, a Libyan member of the al-Qaeda terrorist group disclosed that France has supplied armed rebel and terrorist groups in Syria with Russian Igla anti-air missiles and even trained them how to use these systems.
“Qaddafi’s regime had good relations with the Russians and purchased various weapons from them, including Igla anti-air missiles, which are similar to the US Stinger anti-air shoulder-launched missiles,” Othman Trablosi said in early March.
He said that after Qaddafi’s regime collapsed and rebels came to conquer its army’s weapons and ammo caches, the French army which supported the Libyan rebels with logistical and intelligence backups, collected 232 Igla missiles which were in the hands of the Libyan fighters who were busy with fighting Qaddafi’s supporters.
“After that the French found some of the Libyan army officers who had been trained to use Igla missiles and in September 2012 they used these offers for training a number of al-Qaeda terrorists who ran operations in Syria,” Trablosi explained.
“Then the French transited these al-Qaeda members and the Igla anti-air systems from Benghazi to the Southern provinces of Turkey on a Bulgarian cargo plane and then ferried them across the border into Syria,” he added.
Trablosi underlined that the French army exercises tight control and inspection over each and every step of the program.
France is playing a growing role in Syria unrests these days. Earlier this year, a documentary movie posted on a Lebanese website unveiled details of a plot by the French and Turkish intelligence services to assassinate President Bashar al-Assad and other senior officials of Syria.
A video posted by Lebanese Asianews website, which has been produced by Khedar Awarake, a well-known Syrian media activist, includes part of the confessions made by those involved in France-Turkey joint plot to kill Assad.
The report said that the Syrian security apparatus defused Turkey and France’s attempted assassination plot on the lives of Assad and Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Mualem.
The report noted that the Turkish and French spy agencies embarked on the establishment of a joint operation room to direct a well-concerted operation to carry out the mission after they failed in their earlier plot to overthrow Assad’s government, adding that their mission had overlaps with security services of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the US on many aspects.
The report further unveiled that the new mission to kill Assad started by Turkey and France’s joint effort to recruit high-ranking officials in Syrian governmental offices, including the office of Mualem and offices related to the presidential palace in Damascus.
The report also said that Turks wished to bring along French in their operation since Paris has strong relations with Kurdish parties and could help recruit the Kurdish staffs in Assad’s offices.
The report at the same time noted that Syrian security services were able to thwart the plot due to their intelligence supremacy and close watch on the plot.
Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011 with organized attacks by well-armed gangs against Syrian police forces and border guards being reported across the country.
Hundreds of people, including members of the security forces, have been killed, when some protest rallies turned into armed clashes.
The government blames outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorist groups for the deaths, stressing that the unrest is being orchestrated from abroad.
In October 2011, calm was eventually restored in the Arab state after President Assad started a reform initiative in the country, but Israel, the US and its Arab allies are seeking hard to bring the country into chaos through any possible means. Tel Aviv, Washington and some Arab capitals have been staging various plots in the hope of increasing unrests in Syria.