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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Syria: Secret source of rebel arms revealed

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What I want to do with today's dairy is to highly recommend the writings of C. J. Chivers on the arming of the Syrian opposition.



Local Arms Production in Syria’s Aleppo Governorate, Part II.

We were working in Syria and without Internet much of last week and until this morning, so we lost the chance to link to the second part of this examination until now. Here is the link. Remember: this is not about looking at weapons for the sake of looking at weapons. It is about looking at weapons to see what they might tell us of larger things.

In this case, they deliver a social message, (a steel, aluminum and explosive version of the political cartoon, above) and they suggest a long war. Why? Because this insurgency is mature. By the time fighters have become supported by an underground industry that is producing weapons like this, they are a long way from standing down. The crackdown by the government of President Bashar al-Assad has had the opposite of its intended effect. Rather then quell the rebellion, it has given the rebellion emotional fuel.

ABOUT THE POLITICAL CARTOON

By Habib Haddad. AlHayat. Aug. 5, 2012

The Do-It-Yourself Weapons of the Free Syrian Army





From C.J.Chiver's blog at the NY Times:
Syria’s Dark Horses, With Lathes: Makeshift Arms Production in Aleppo Governorate, Part I

September 19, 2012, 12:58 pm

There are many indicators of the stubborn determination and evolving organization of the fighting groups in Syria seeking to unseat President Bashar al-Assad. One of them is this: the development of local arms-producing industries in Syrian cities and the countryside. In a war in which the antigovernment fighters have sought outside support and been disappointed by what has been offered, especially from the West, the society that produced the fighters has also undertaken the production of matériel for guerrilla war, a social project of such a scale that it has contributed to the armed opposition’s momentum and confidence this year. The progression is both intriguing and relevant to those seeking to understand the Free Syrian Army, as the loosely organized antigovernment fighters are called. This is not just for the view that local production provides of latter-day warfare with do-it-yourself arms. It offers insights into something else — the social forces within an uprising that is reordering the Middle East.

At War will highlight samples of the work of arms-producing tradesmen in Tal Rifaat, a small city on the agricultural plain north of Aleppo, doing so both in the interest of illuminating the origins and choices of makeshift weapons and to underline the meaning, promises and risks inherent in a such a collective project. I gained access to several tradesmen and different categories of weapons. Beginning today, At War will examine the industry’s evolution and look at two locally made items, and will continue in the next installment with more weapons and a set of conclusions about what they mean. More...
Here is part two:
Syria’s Dark Horses, With Lathes: Makeshift Arms Production in Aleppo Governorate, Part II

September 20, 2012, 1:38 pm

On Wednesday, At War dove deeper into the underground industry in one part of Syria that this year has been producing improvised weapons for fighting groups seeking the overthrow of President Bashar al-Assad. That post focused on a machine-gun turrets and an artillery piece, known as Dadool, both of which were designed and made in Tal Rifaat, a small city north of Aleppo.

This arms production suggests a mix of determination and a scarce supply of powerful weapons, as people do not naturally engage in making weapons when they are otherwise available. Today we continue the line of reporting, examining local mortar and rocket production, and then discuss the messages implicit in this endeavor. More...
Here are my related diaries on Syria:
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