Syria: Al-Nusra Jihadists ‘Capture US TOW Anti-Tank Missiles’ from Moderate Rebels
Weaponry supplied by the US to moderate Syrian rebels was feared to have fallen into the hands of jihadist militants affiliated to al-Qaida after clashes between rival groups.
Islamist fighters with Jabhat al-Nusra seized control of large swathes of land in Jabal al-Zawiya, Idlib province, at the weekend, routing the US-backed groups the Syrian Revolutionaries Front (SFR) and Harakat Hazm, activists said.
Washington relied on SFR and Harakat Hazm to counter Isis (Islamic State) militants on the ground in Syria, complementing its air strikes.
It has thus been supplying them with heavy weapons, including TOW anti-tank missiles in recent months.
The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said that, after five days of fighting, the moderate rebels have now surrendered to al-Nusra, which is listed by the US as a terrorist organisation.
“Some of the rebels swore allegiance to al-Nusra, others fled,” SOHR said.
After the takeover, Twitter accounts liked to the Islamist group claimed that US weapons were among the stockpiles confiscated by the group.
Ar Raqqah Media, an account that regularly posts updates on IS, al-Nusra and other jihadi movements tweeted: