Photographs have emerged of a captured Islamic State weapons cache which has an impressive range of firearms. The stockpile of weapons and explosive materials was captured by a rival Syrian group HTS. The cache included a wide variety of pistols, submachine guns, rifle and light machine guns from sources all over the world.
HTS allegedly captured an IS logistics chief in the area around the city of
Idlib, in northwestern Syria, intel from him enabled them to seize a significant stockpile. This, however, is contradicted by IS being now mainly active in southern Syria.
The photographs of the weapons cache were posted by ebaa.news, a local news website with likely associations with HTS, on the 3rd September. HTS or Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham are a Sunni rebel militant group sometimes referred to as al-Qaeda in Syria. They are one of a myriad of factions active in the region but primarily oppose the Syrian government and IS.
Regardless of who the cache belonged to it contains some interesting weapons, let’s take a look at the photographs and see what can be identified.
At the back of the photo, leaning against the wall, are around 30 rifles, which predominantly appear to be AK-pattern rifles with a couple of long guns, carefully wrapped in plastic with what appear to be inventory tags. In front of those appear to be a significant number of light and general purpose machine guns, including a number of PKMs.
On the floor in front of the row of light machine guns, to the left, are some interesting rifles including several M4 carbines (believed to be SIG M400s) and three M16A2s – probably captured from the Iraqi Army. Amongst them is an entirely different beast – a Croatia VHS-2 bullpup, again likely captured from Iraqi forces. Further along, the row can be seen the muzzle of an AKS-74U, next to a group of submachine guns including an MP5A3, a pair of Beretta M12s and two CZ vz.23s.
The myriad of pistols laid out on the blanket is even more intriguing! They include a group of Glocks, Egyptian Tariqs and Helwans, Makarovs, Hungarian FÉG PA-63s, TT-33s, a 1911 and couple of Star Model Bs, a few silenced pistols (including two Walther PPKs and a Tariq) and a couple of older Berettas. (Let me know anything I missed in the comments below.)
The stockpile also included a large amount of cash in various currencies and a pile of Chinese Wouxun KG-UV6D radios, piles of loaded magazines and a large amount of materials and equipment needed to produce Improvised Explosive Devices including detonators, radio receivers, and explosive materials are also pictured.