American antitank missiles supplied to Syrian rebels are playing an unexpectedly prominent role in shaping the Syrian battlefield, giving the conflict the semblance of a proxy war between the United States and Russia, despite President Obama’s express desire to avoid one.
The U.S.-made BGM-71 TOW missiles were delivered under a two-year-old covert program coordinated between the United States and its allies to help vetted Free Syrian Army groups in their fight against President Bashar al-Assad. Now that Russia has entered the war in support of Assad, they are taking on a greater significance than was originally intended.
So successful have they been in driving rebel gains in northwestern Syria that rebels call the missile the “Assad Tamer,” a play on the word Assad, which means lion. And in recent days they have been used with great success to slow the Russian-backed offensive aimed at recapturing ground from the rebels.
[Syrian forces begin ground offensive backed by Russian air and sea power]
Since Wednesday, when Syrian troops launched their first offensive backed by the might of Russia’s military, dozens of videos have been posted on YouTube showing rebels firing the U.S.-made missiles at Russian-made tanks and armored vehicles belonging to the Syrian army. Appearing as twirling balls of light, they zigzag across the Syrian countryside until they find and blast their target in a ball of flame.
https://www.endtime.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/2015-10-08T102610Z_01_SYR06_RTRIDSP_3_MIDEAST-CRISIS-SYRIA-RUSSIA.jpg 403 606 alphatimes https://endtime.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/endtime-logo.png alphatimes2015-10-12 00:00:002018-03-28 16:52:34Did U.S. weapons supplied to Syrian rebels draw Russia into the conflict?