Syrian rebels are using locally manufactured rockets and Google technology to fight regime forces, a new video reveals.
The undated video, taken in a field outside the city of Homs in central Syria and released Sunday, displays a number of opposition combatants, some in uniform and others in plainclothes, preparing to launch rockets at an army checkpoint inside Homs. The narrator says the men belong to the Free Syrian Army and an unknown group called the National Liberation Movement.
In the video, the opposition fighters use a laptop with Google maps to locate the checkpoint, which they point out to the cameraman.
The four locally-manufactured rockets, brought to the field on the back of a pickup truck, resemble Kassam rockets launched by Hamas and other Gaza-based organizations into Israel in recent years. One field commander, identified only by his rank of lieutenant, tells the camera that the rockets were manufactured by the National Liberation Movement inside Syria. The rockets’ range is 6 kilometers (3.7 miles), he says. The commander expresses hope that the rocket will destroy the military checkpoint it is aimed at.
With a range similar to that of the Kassam 1 rocket used by Hamas at the start of the Second Intifada in 2001, the Syrian rockets displayed in the video would be inaccurate and likely cause collateral damage to the vicinity of the target.
On August 15, the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria announced that both government and opposition forces in Syria have committed war crimes, although those perpetrated by the opposition are “not of the same gravity.”
Unrest in Syria began in March 2011 with demonstrations in the southern city of Daraa, but soon escalated into a full-fledged civil war, with armed battles between government and opposition forces.