A recent propaganda film put out by the al-Rahman Corps (a rebel group currently fighting in the Ghouta suburb of Damascus) showcases an entire industry of craft produced and almost semi-industrial small arms and light weapons production facility. Most of what is available for us to watch (there most certainly are parts the al-Rahman Corps doesn’t want the public to see) appears to be the sustained production of mortar rounds, specifically what appears to be 81mm shells. As evidenced by another video linked below, the group publicly and specifically mentions that 81mm, 100mm, 120mm, and 180mm mortars are used against Asad’s Syrian Arab Army.
This portion of the video shows some mechanics laser bore sighting a 7.62x54mmR SVD Dragonuv rifle with what appears to be a commercially available green pointing laser. The scope is most likely also a commercially available Russian ATN or Pulsar line of hunting scopes. These have been seen all over Syria in the hands of many different forces, both in thermal, infrared or a daylight configurable scope.
This part was interesting because it shows one of the employees testing a PKM GPMG. If he is shooting it for testing purposes, what is he trying to test? Most groups in Syria realize the use of the PKM and have stockpiles of the machine gun. But in this image, has al-Rahman been able to machine simple and small parts that allow the group to keep their PKMs going? And is thus able to test that ability to get otherwise broken PKMs back in working condition?
Published by the same channel Ghouta Now that released the small arms production video is another informative video discussing the small arms in use by the al-Rahman Corps.
Because Youtube is notorious for deleting any video imagery remotely associated with extremist groups on the internet despite the useful historical record or research need that it displays, I’ll upload the video here because it is very useful in showing some of the small arms history of the Syrian conflict. I’ve cut out the portions not related to small arms research.
Hat tip to Chris Cowan on Twitter for pointing these out to us!