“External support”: who can supply Syrian militants with prohibited weapons. Part 1

The terrorists who shot down the Russian Su-25 in the sky over the Syrian Idlib on February 3 do not have their own resources to acquire weapons and without external support they could not organize an attack on the plane, experts are convinced. Russia intends to conduct a thorough investigation to find out from whom the Syrian militants received the MANPADS, which shot down the Russian attack aircraft. According to experts, weapons can be supplied by representatives of neighboring countries, as well as by traders from the black market. Experts understand by what channels portable anti-aircraft systems come into the hands of terrorists.
A few hours after the February 3 attack in the sky over the Syrian province of Idlib from a portable anti-aircraft missile system (MANPADS), a Russian Su-25 attack aircraft was shot down, the Russian military inflicted a retaliatory group strike with high-precision weapons, which killed more than 30 militants.
Now, on the site of their liquidation, the soldiers of the Syrian special forces are working, and the air defense aircraft of the Russian Federation provide security for the overland operation from the air.
Russia intends to conduct a thorough investigation and find out by what channels MANPADS could get to the terrorists. In particular, it is necessary to establish a country which produced a portable anti-aircraft missile system.
According to experts it is possible to determine which weapons Jebhat An-Nusra used to destroy the Russian airplane and kill the pilot, only after examining the body of the shot down Su-25.
Recall that in mid-January, Arab media reported about the US secret plans for the transfer of MANPADS to Kurdish forces in Syria. It was clarified that this could be one of the measures aimed at creating border security forces in Syria under the aegis of Washington.
The plans of the US administration have provoked the wrath of Ankara, which views the Kurdish military and political structures as a direct threat to its own security. Soon, the Turkish Armed Forces began the military operation “Olive Branch” in Syrian Afrin, located near Aleppo.
Simultaneously, the Syrian government army continued its offensive on the Jebhat al-Nusra position in Idlib, which in the autumn of 2017 became the Turkish “zone of responsibility” in accordance with the Astana agreements on de-escalation zones. It is the Turkish side that should monitor compliance with the ceasefire in this region.
Ukrainian smuggling
In December 2017, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov noted that terrorists, whose units are based primarily in Idlib, continue to resist through “external support.”
So, at night January 6, 2018, 13 drone drones flying from Idlib territory attempted to attack the Russian base in Khmeimim. The attack was repulsed by means of Russian air defense.
Experts do not rule out that the weapons could get to terrorists, including from the countries of the former USSR, in particular, from Ukraine.
As early as the end of November 2015, the Kuwaiti authorities uncovered an entire criminal network that was involved in supplying arms from Ukraine to the Syrian territory to the Islamic state militants. In particular, it was about the transit of MANPADS FN-6 manufactured in China. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait did not specify how many such complexes were in the hands of the ISIS.
In the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, they hastened to disown these supplies, saying that the Ukrainian Armed Forces do not have such complexes. “We are not a subject of economic activity, and we do not have such weapons,” said official representative of the department Victoria Kushnir.
However, according to experts, Ukraine has long turned into a staging point for the shadow arms market, and military-political instability in the country even more untied the hands of shadow arms dealers.
In addition, in the conditions of the war going on in Syria since 2011, the warfare easily passes from one group to another – either as a result of certain agreements or as a military trophy. However, it is quite possible for manufacturers to trace the delivery of MANPADS channels to one or another country, experts believe. MANPADS are often equipped with the special tags and a lighthouse

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