Syrian Rebels Stole UN Armored Personnel Carriers

Israel Warns 'Virtually Indestructible' Vehicles Could Be Used for Attacks

The Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade’s only real claim to fame within the Syrian rebellion has been that they twice inexplicably kidnapped a bunch of UN troops, then held them for several days before releasing them.

But the group is apparently getting pretty good equipment by carjacking UN troops, and the most recent UN report reveals that four vehicles have been lost to them, including two heavily armored personnel carriers.

The APCs have sparked concerns from Israeli military experts amid claims that they are “virtually indestructible.” Since the Islamist rebels have a grudge against Israel as well as Syria, they warn the vehicles could be used to attack the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

The vehicles were identified as RG-31 Nyalas, a BAE-made APC popular across the world for its durability. Meant to survive two TM-57 anti-tank mines at once, the vehicles are extremely sturdy, but by no means indestructible, as particularly large IEDs have destroyed several of the US military’s RG-31’s in Iraq and Afghanistan over the years.

The “threat” posed by the rebel faction having two of these seems minimal since they aren’t particularly fast (covered in steel armor) or super-heavily armed in and of themselves, and are more designed to safely transport troops to and from battles. With two of the vehicles the rebels could conceivably load 16-20 fighters comfortably within, but this hardly constitutes an invasion force.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.