Posts Tagged rebels

Syria: Defense Contractors Are Training Rebels On How To Secure Chemical Weapons

Now that is a contract! lol I imagine they are paying these guys quite a bit of money to not only train the rebels on how to secure these chemical weapons if captured, but to also have contractors on the ground and monitor these weapons on the battlefield itself. Very dangerous and that has DBA written all over it.

As to whom is providing this training and monitoring is up in the air. I had written a post about Syria’s chemical weapons and MANPADS and the concerns with that, and in it I mentioned Tetra Tech as a possible solution for at least helping to clean up and secure ‘captured’ or ‘destroyed and captured’ chemical munitions. But for this particular story, I have no clue who the contractor is or if they are looking for folks. (if any readers have an idea, let me know and I will make the edit)

The other really ugly thought on this, is the absolute disaster this would create in the cities of Syria. Meaning if entire cities are coated with the oily VX Nerve agent all over everything, then after the war, someone is going to have to go in there and clean it all up. Or how would you like to by Syria’s neighbor? yikes…. Yet again, this would be a task for a competent chemical munitions cleanup company and that kind of contract would be insanely dangerous. The question is, will Assad cross the red line and use chemical weapons in his war?

Finally, the other bitter reality in all of this is the threat of losing control of these weapons. Hence why there are monitors on the ground keeping eyes on these things. But in warfare, it never fails to amaze me about the ingenuity of each side of a conflict and how they are able to use deception to continue the fight and gain advantage. Do we have eyes on all of these weapons, and can we control all the events in regards to these weapons? Well, rebels have certainly gotten their hands on captured MANPADS, and that might give us a clue as to the chemical weapons reality. We will see how this plays out…. –Matt


Sources: U.S. helping underwrite Syrian rebel training on securing chemical weapons
By Elise Labott
December 9, 2012
The United States and some European allies are using defense contractors to train Syrian rebels on how to secure chemical weapons stockpiles in Syria, a senior U.S. official and several senior diplomats told CNN Sunday.
The training, which is taking place in Jordan and Turkey, involves how to monitor and secure stockpiles and handle weapons sites and materials, according to the sources. Some of the contractors are on the ground in Syria working with the rebels to monitor some of the sites, according to one of the officials.
The nationality of the trainers was not disclosed, though the officials cautioned against assuming all are American.

One of the aims, the sources said, is to try to get real time surveillance of the sites because the international community would not have time to prevent the use of the weapons otherwise. The program could explain how U.S. intelligence was able to learn what U.S. officials said was evidence the Assad government is mixing precursors for chemical weapons and loading those compounds into bombs. The intelligence, one U.S. official told CNN last week, came not just from satellite surveillance, but also from information provided by people. The official would not say whether the human intelligence came from telephone intercepts, defectors or people inside Syria.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Syria: DIY Armored Trucks–The T-HOMS75

Now this thing is an interesting creation and I will tell you why. It is wedge shaped, which indicates to me that it could be used for barrier busting. Like knocking down sandbags/walls and getting in some quick shots with the mounted DShK. Then they pull away so they can reload and maybe attack from another point.

The wedge shape is also great for deflecting incoming small arms fire, or maybe even some cannon fire from the front. So on the streets of Homs where every inch of territory is being fought over with a vengeance, something like this was probably purpose built to deal with an issue the rebels identified.

Another cool use for such a vehicle is creating mouse holes in walls. So if you are able to punch a hole in a wall, then your assault team can run into those breaches and either make an escape or obtain a tactical advantage in a fight. They can also rescue downed rebels in a fight if they had to.

Who knows, but it definitely looks like they are taking some notes from the Libyans in their war and the Narco Tanks in Mexico. They probably checked out all of the ‘Mad Max’ designs back in the day in Iraq as well.  Interesting DIY Armor and if anyone has anything to add about this vehicle, I would be interested to hear what you got. –Matt



….Something much weird of the anti-aircraft pick up was recently spotted in Homs, Syria. It’s a sort-of improvised Suzuki pickup converted into armored vehicle capable to open its way through barriers and sand bags, equipped with a Doshka machine gun.

Dubbed T-HOMS75 by the Zaman Al Wasl reporter that took the first pictures of it, the vehicle is operated by a crew three people (driver, gunner and assistant): the gunner stands behind the drivers cabin with the gun placed on top of it.

It is capable of a maximum speed of 80 km/h (due to the added weight) and gives protection against light and medium machine guns, allowing to move in places guarded by snipers.

From the Aviationist.

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Weapons Stuff: Libyan Rebel Weapons Development–Robots Armed With Machine Guns!

Interesting development. Although what the rebels need is what every military unit needs to be successful. They need to be organized, disciplined, trained, well equipped, well led, have unit cohesion, and most of all, have excellent strategy. So my question with the whole ‘robots with machine guns’ thing, is how does this advancement in their DIY weapons development, help in winning their war?
The other thing that strikes me here, is this whole DIY weapons movement going on in places like Mexico, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya? What would be fun is to start a whole new website just to track this very unique ‘makers’ industry. Much of it seems to be based on mimicry. They see a photo or video of a professionally made weapon system, and they try to copy it. This mimicry strategy helps to explain why you see the same type of armored vehicle design in Mexico, Iraq, or an attempt to armor vehicles in Libya. –Matt

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Libya: The Toyota War Part 2–Gaddafi Forces Adopt Rebel Tactics

This is smart, and pure mimicry strategy at it’s finest–copy your enemy, and then add one or two things to give you an edge. In this case, the edge is training, cohesion and organization.  Gaddafi has also been in this kind of war before when Libya was fighting Chad.  If you remember, that war was called the Toyota War, because both sides ended up using the cheapest, most abundant and fastest vehicles they could to out maneuver the other other guy.

The other part of this that is smart is that the coalition air forces will have a tougher time distinguishing between both sides, and the potential for civilian casualties increases. Air power is great for taking on open desert military targets, but taking out these types of targets takes a lot more effort because of the potential screw ups in the matter.

The other day, Gaddafi’s forces were also able to take advantage of the weather and make a drive against a disconnected and unorganized rebel force. That shows a knowledge of the limitations of this no-fly zone, and I am sure they studied other no-fly zones like in Iraq, or the use of air power in places like Afghanistan.  They identified a weakness in the hardware, and exploited it.

Which takes us back to what will continue to hurt the rebels, and that is a lack of training, cohesion and organization.  The Gaddafi side is already ahead of them in this regard, and his military has the experience and lessons of the Toyota Wars to draw upon. He is also showing agility, which was highlighted by Chet over at his Fast Transients blog.

It also emphasizes the importance of the ‘people’ element of wars. You cannot depend upon hardware to win wars, and having a no-fly zone alone will not accomplish the task of regime change there. And as you can see, Gaddafi’s forces have quickly adapted to this no-fly zone and has continued to press the fight. –Matt

Libya crisis: Gaddafi forces adopt rebel tactics
30 March 2011
Ras Lanuf has now changed hands for the fourth time in three weeks. BBC world affairs editor John Simpson in Tripoli has been assessing the fighting.
Colonel Gaddafi’s forces have changed their tactics.
The Libyan army has not always been known for its efficiency or its high morale.
Now though, it has shown a remarkable degree of flexibility, and has chosen to adopt tactics used by the rebels only a few days ago, when they were sweeping along the coastal road, apparently unstoppably, in the direction of Sirte. Read the rest of this entry »

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Libya: About Those Rebels–Freelance Irhabists Join The Party And The Article ‘Destination Martyrdom’

Freelance jihadists huh?  So this is what our no-fly zone is supporting?  I will say that not only does Gaddafi suck, but to support the opposition is not a good idea either.  I vote on staying out of the thing completely, and let the kids fight it out.

Both articles that I have posted below should definitely give anyone thinking about supporting these rebels a pause.  To think that coalition pilots are providing over watch and even CAS for rebel forces that quite possibly have Al Qaeda sympathizers in their ranks or even freelance irhabists working along side is disturbing. Especially after all we have been through in this war.

And if that doesn’t get you fired up, then read the Destination Martyrdom article that Newsweek published in 2008. That many of the foreign suicide bombers in places like Iraq or Afghanistan came from Libya, and they certainly killed innocents and soldiers alike. So these are the people we are supporting? I say let both sides of this conflict destroy each other, and stay out of the way.  Not to mention the costs of such operations?…..

Here is the analogy I have for Libya and all of these uprisings in the Middle East.  This is a raging forest fire, and in the world of forest fire fighting, when you have a ‘gobbler’ or fire that is uncontrollable, then you stay out of it’s way and let it do it’s thing. Because to do anything to try and stop this massive force of nature would be a waste of resources and man power, and a needless risk of life.  The only things you can do for gobblers is to evacuate people (which has been done in Libya), and put up a buffer around things you hope to save (which nothing has been done about the oil facilities in Libya).

The time where you fight a fire, is when you have the highest chance of success–and that is when it is small or manageable due to the terrain or weather.  Or to attack when the fire or the elements that support fire, are weakest and your forces are ready and capable. That is how you deal with fire, and that is how you deal with the ‘fires’ burning in the Middle East.

Which brings me to the Saudi Arabia/OPEC question.  If things blow up in the major oil producing countries, I could foresee some kind of effort to secure the oil facilities. That would be an appropriate use of military force, because those facilities are crucial to the world’s oil market stability. We can survive Libya being out for the count, but with countries like Saudi Arabia–that is the kind of thing you want to protect because those oil producing facilities are the life blood of the world.(Robert Baer mentioned the same thing in his book ‘Sleeping With The Devil‘)  I would classify that as putting a buffer around the things you want to save during a raging fire. Other than that, get the hell out of the gobbler’s way. –Matt

‘Freelance jihadists’ join Libyan rebels

Destination Martyrdom

‘Freelance jihadists’ join Libyan rebels
Ex-al Qaeda member speaks out
By Eli Lake
March 29, 2011
A former leader of Libya’s al Qaeda affiliate says he thinks “freelance jihadists” have joined the rebel forces, as NATO’s commander told Congress on Tuesday that intelligence indicates some al Qaeda and Hezbollah terrorists are fighting Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s forces.
Former jihadist Noman Benotman, who renounced his al Qaeda affiliation in 2000, said in an interview that he estimates 1,000 jihadists are in Libya. Read the rest of this entry »

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