Syrian Rebels Have US-Made Anti-Tank Missiles

US military intervention in the Syrian Civil War has mostly taken the form of small arms and equipment for various rebel factions, but looks to be picking up the pace dramatically, as new videos come out showing US-made BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missiles in rebel hands.

Two different rebel factions, the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and a faction allied with the Islamic Front are claiming to have the weapons, though the US is still not officially confirming they were the direct suppliers.

Saudi Arabia has been keen to supply the rebels with more and more advanced US-made weapons, including TOW missiles and anti-aircraft missiles, though in the past US concerns about the rebels using them on civilian targets, particularly passenger airliners, have prevented such shipments.

In recent weeks the reports have said the US was less and less concerned about the shipments, preferring to see the civil war escalate at any cost, and apparently willing to deal with the inevitable backlash when the weapons start showing up in al-Qaeda’s hands.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.