In one of the areas left by militants in the west of Aleppo province, the Syrian military discovered a very remarkable find. It may indicate the presence of Chinese fighters weapons.
This is a stereoscopic rangefinder. In an abandoned pickup truck of militants of the Khayyat Tahrir al-Sham group (banned in the Russian Federation), Syrian soldiers found not only the device for determining the distance, but also instructions for it in Chinese. It is possible that the device came complete with MANPADS FN-6.
The third-generation portable anti-aircraft missile system FN-6 (Hunying-6) is designed to destroy low-flying aircraft and helicopters of the enemy and is in limited numbers in the arsenal of the ground forces and air forces of the People's Liberation Army of China. But to suspect the PRC of supplying arms to Syrian militants would be an overly rash step. But the whole point is that this is far from the first news of the presence of FN-6 MANPADS in Syrian fighters.
The war in Syria is not a war in Afghanistan, and now China is not at all profitable to arm the Syrian radical forces. If the device really came complete with a Chinese MANPADS, then weapons from the Celestial Empire could fall into the hands of militants through one of the countries to which the PRC exports air defense systems.
It is known that China supplied the armed forces of several foreign states — Peru, Cambodia, Malaysia, Sudan, and Pakistan — with FN-6 man-portable air defense systems. For obvious reasons, the first two countries drop off immediately, most likely the militants could not get weapons from Malaysia, but Sudan and Pakistan are in doubt.
Given Pakistan’s close ties with Turkey, and Sudan with Saudi Arabia and both states with Islamic radical organizations, the possibility of a Pakistani or Sudanese footprint cannot be ruled out.
Back in 2013, the Western press speculated about the use of Chinese MANPADS by Syrian fighters. According to some reports, they were delivered to the Syrian radicals from Qatar. In turn, Qatar purchased a batch of Chinese weapons in Sudan. Further, from Qatar through Turkey, weapons were delivered to Syria. In 2014, a helicopter of the armed forces of Iraq was shot down from such a MANPADS.
Usually, gunmen and ammunition produced either in the USA and countries of Western Europe, or in Turkey, are found in militants in the SAR. Many Soviet-made weapons that once stood on the arsenal of the Syrian and Iraqi armies, and then, during the civil wars, fell into the hands of terrorist groups.
In Idlib, militants are increasingly using Turkish-made military equipment and weapons. According to media reports, more than 70 Turkish were in the de-escalation zone of the conflict tanks, 200 armored vehicles and 80 artillery pieces. A significant part of this military equipment could be transferred to the Turkish military fighters "Hayyat Tahrir al-Sham." For example, the Syrian military often encounters Turkish ACV-15 infantry fighting vehicles controlled by militant crews.
Three years ago, it was reported that militants fighting against the troops of Bashar al-Assad also use TIFV - heavy tracked armored personnel carriers, manufactured in Turkey in the 1990s under an American license. But everything is clear here - the Turkish military is “fusing” on the Syrian front obsolete military equipment that was in service with the Turkish ground forces.
In addition, American-made MANPADS, which they previously did not have, fell into the hands of Syrian militants. Man-portable anti-aircraft missile systems were also very likely to be delivered to Turkish militants. Thanks to the presence of modern MANPADS, the militants managed to knock out two helicopters of the Syrian Arab army in a short time.
But weapons - weapons, and Turkey arranged the supply of militants and uniforms of the Turkish army. Disguised as Turkish servicemen, militants attack the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) soldiers, and the latter do not at first understand what it is, being sure that they are before them Turkish soldiers. Captured militants admit that the supply of their units is carried out by Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Therefore, the unfortunate Chinese MANPADS fighters, most likely, could get through the same channels.