first published on April 17, 2018 by Will
A recent rebel video shows use of an improvised spigot mortar, also known as the hell cannon being used against Syrian troops.
The video was released by Hyaat Tahrir ash Sham (HTS), which is al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria and was reportedly recorded in Sijneh, Dar’aa.
The use of this type of improvised hell cannon was extremely common earlier on in the Syrian conflict. As their production became more popular, the crude technology improved in accuracy and effectiveness.
The Syrian conflict has demonstrated the resourcefulness of those wishing to carry out an insurgency with limited means. We have seen improvised-armor welded onto civilian type vehicles, catapults, sniper rifles and technical mounted guns made from BMP-2 main gun barrels, and of course the ever-present IED. Necessity truly is the mother of all invention.
However, in this case, the use of these degraded weapons by HTS may be a sign of the extremist rebel group’s reduction as an effective fighting force in the Syrian conflict.
It wasn’t that long ago that the Nusra Front, HTS’ former identity, was brazenly operating in broad daylight with columns of main battle tanks and infantry fighting vehicles. It seems that the heyday of these rebel groups is in the past, and the only option for longevity as a Salafist jihadist in Syria is to join the ranks of Turkey’s proxy forces.