Syrian regime, rebels constantly adapt arsenals

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Speaking to the AP in Turkey, the official would not say who provided the rockets. He spoke on condition of anonymity for security reasons.

Several videos posted by anti-regime activists online last week show the missiles. In one video, an SA-7 launcher has been set on a rock to display it. Another shows a fighter in Aleppo firing one at a passing fighter jet, with the curly smoke trail of the rocket visible.

It remains unclear how many SA-7 missiles rebels have and if they can use them successfully.

But “even if they don’t bring anything down, it will make Syrian pilots think more about what they are doing,” Mr. White said.

Reports of rebels shooting down regime aircraft have increased. Rebels claimed to have shot down at least two helicopters and two jets in August and September.

In the last week alone, however, amateur videos indicate they have shot down one jet and two helicopters.

In one case, a video purported to show the capture of the jet pilot. In another, a rebel held up what he said was the head of another pilot, salvaged from the wreckage of his helicopter.

Other videos indicate that rebels have a growing number of heavy-caliber anti-aircraft guns, many mounted on pickup trucks for easy movement, as well as mortars and different kinds of homemade rockets.

The videos appeared consistent with other AP reporting.

From its side, the Assad regime has adjusted its professional military — built to fight a war with Israel — to fight guerrillas in Syrian cities.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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