Canadian sniper rifles in Yeman, Syria

A recent article shows that at least one Canadian made PGW Defense .50 BMG LRT-3 SWS with suppressor is in use with Houthi rebels in Yeman, currently engaged in both a civil war, and a fight with Saudi Arabian armed forces on the border. In addition to the LRT-3, the rebels seem to have gained posession of some other advanced small arms, such as the G36Ks and G36Cs made for export (the internal German version has an additional part on top of the sight that is absent in the export models), in addition to the full length G36 rifles without the optical sight. In one of the pictures coming out of Yemen, they also have a night vision intensifier that mounts to the front of the Schmidt & Bender optic already on the rifle. This probably means that they were able to get their hands on a full issue of the rifle, accessories and all. There is another precision rifle to the right of the LRT-3, which appears to be their .308 “Coyote” variant, with a much more traditional stock, and folding buttstock. You can tell by the fluted barrel, and front mounted picatinny rails for lasers and night image intensifiers. How these rifles came to be used among the rebels is still up to speculation, but seeing that they have all their full issue with them, they were probably sold off by a corrupt official in an illegal arms deal from Saudi Arabia (which uses them), instead of being captured with minimal equipment. We have another picture of an LRT-3 being used in Syria by the Peshmerga, but this was probably directly supplied by the Canadians as a part of the coalition.

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Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at


  • mosinman

    from what i understand the Houthis are kicking the a$$es of the Saudis

    • Alexandru Ianu

      The Houthis actually know tactics and understand how to fight. That tends to be the case with shia militias (look at helmet cam footage of Hezbollah fighters).

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Wonder what the chances are of these guys hitting anything at the distances the rifles were designed for.

    • BattleshipGrey

      If allah wills it.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Seems like these guys expect ol’ Allah to do a lot of the heavy lifting in this deal.

        • Major Tom

          That’s a problem however. Allah may guide their bullets but Jesus helps those who aim down the sights.

      • Danny Wildman

        Right now it seems like Allah is willing for yet another US scheme to fall through.

      • Uniform223


    • Tritro29

      They tend to hit well enough at 1km with their OSV-96 rifles. So I guess a better made rifle will only add (or ruin) fun for those getting targeted.

    • hking

      Some of the videos on LiveLeak show dudes in Syria doing some pretty impressive shooting. Not exactly sure about the Houthi’s but they seem to be doing pretty damn good against the Saudis.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        I guess survival is a good motivator.

    • micmac80

      Huthis are far superior shots than guns previous owners ,have you seen how they fight , no over the head full auto shootng from them .Watch some you-tube, they ither engage at long range with ATGMS and Sniper rifles or more often than not sneak right into enemys position and finish them at close range. Plus you never see the gore of torturing and beheading helpless victims that is so common in that part of the world.One think you also notice they don’t give that much of allah speches just the mandatory end in the videos, God is great ,Death to America , Israel and Sauds ………..( that is just a local antimperialist slogan ). Among the bad and incompetent apples that is the middle east these are the best fighters out there.

  • BattleshipGrey

    It really burns me that governments hand out heavy hardware for 3rd world countries (where they don’t have background checks) but somehow background checks aren’t enough here in the US.

    • TheNotoriousIUD

      When we sell arms to places like Iran the last thing we want is a paper trail.

      • Joseph Smith

        Give our betters in gov a break. Starting WWIII is hard work!

      • Tritro29

        Actually that’s Saudi Arabia we’re talking about here. And indeed paper-trails ruin the fun. Most funny case. Saudi Arabia openly shows totally non-existent Bulgarian contract for Libya about their M9 rifles, in … Yemen by arming their guys against the Houthis.

    • micmac80

      You are talking about sales to greatest exporter of terror in the world and US best friend Saudi Arabia.
      You do remember 9/11 most if not all terrorist were Saudis as was Bin laden jet only planes flying over US post 9/11 were Saudi bussines jets picking their duchebags around and in the end US invaded Afghanistan and Iraq instead of leveling Saudi Arabia

      • Jay

        The Syrian mess is caused by the Saudis as well. Saudis, Qatar and the Turks.
        Now the worhless saudis are cooking something in Lebanon. Most of the Gulf arab states are calling their citizens out of Lebanon and put travel bans to Lebanon.
        This savages are cooking something there as well.
        I guess as long as neocons like Mc Cain have business plans in the area, and protect this scumbags, nobody can touch this medieval scumbaga.

      • Division Charlemange

        I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the US actually has a better friend in the region. All the presidential candidates are very strongly committed to that friend.

        This is not to say that Bush shouldn’t have gone after the Saudis in some way, right after he dropped a B-53 on Tora Bora and declared victory.

    • Kyle

      It burns me that we supply arms to these crooked shitholes at all.

    • smartacus


  • Vhyrus

    Have 6 state of the art German assault rifles at their feet.

    Still carrying AKs.

    • Tyler McCommon

      Well last we heard the AK doesn’t melt in sunlight.

    • English

      >6 state of the art German assault rifles
      >a G3

      • iksnilol

        Point taken.

        Only one state of the art German assault rifle.

        • Major Tom

          Correction: One half-decent German battle rifle and five pieces of junk.

          • iksnilol

            Half decent?

            Battle rifle?

            Pieces of junk?

            I disagree on all counts. Battle rifle is a stupid term made up to sell M1As.

  • I think its more likely that these were captured from the Saudis rather than purchased. Hard to imagine the Houthis are offering more money than the Saudis, and there are videos out there out Houthis overrunning Saudi positions.

  • Kev

    Both the G36 and LR3 rifles are used by Saudi troops as well as the coyote and timber wolf precision rifles. It’s possible that these were captured from Saudi and government troops. Interestingly Barrett M82s and browning M2s have also been documented as are first generation javelin missiles.

    • Tritro29

      It’s not only “possible”, but there are videos of these rifles along with G36 and AK103 being displayed by the Qhat Munching legion.

  • Bob Villa


    • Bob Villa

      You’d think the author could at least spell the country right.

  • BrockFunkingSamson

    First picture needs banana for scale. Not sure if tiny person or big rifle.

  • Andrew

    3rd world rebels get all the cool toys…

    But we can’t. Makes sense.

  • micmac80

    Yemen grave of invading armies past 2000 or so years.

  • mosinman

    well, like they say, you can’t buy skill

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Great movie.

  • micmac80

    UAE already packed and ran home end of sommer 2015 but the hired Former Blackwater /EX to supply 800+ Columbian Mercenarys ,but it turned out they were not quite combat ready , many just poor kids with no military experience so the instructors had to take active role in fighting and Huthis already send number of them home in body bags.

    Sauds similar rotated much of their forces home and hired a 1000 man strong force of Sudanese Army of more or less war criminals to do the fighting , again in less than a week body bags started returning.

  • Vindice

    We actually do know where many of the Canadian rifles and other western weapons come from, and it isn’t corrupt officials. Somehow these rifles just became “news” despite video and pictures having been released months ago of the aftermath of an ambush on Saudi SF troops, which included a haul of western small arms, including the sniper rifles.

  • Silverado

    Those must be the terrorists we approve of and fund this week, huh??

  • yallan

    Not sure how much effect he’s having, the saudis hired Erik Prince to put a mercenary outfit of 800 colombians, and probably Australian/British officers. They are considered a reliable force.