On Monday, the Al Qaeda affiliate stormed two Syrian military bases, Hamidieh and Wadi Deif, overtaking both sites within hours of its initial attack. The new advance shows a map where Nusra has control over the majority of Syria’s Idlib province, according to AFP.
The Nusra Front wrote on its Twitter page that it was “the only faction that took part in the liberation of Wadi al-Deif,” and that they were “chasing down” Syrian soldiers.
Syrian state television, which remains controlled by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, stated, “The army redeployed this morning in the Wadi Deif region and is engaged in fierce fighting at Hamidieh.”
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that the attack on the Wadi Deif base resulted in the deaths of at least 31 military personnel and 12 jihadists.
Meanwhile, Nusra fighters have posted a video that claims to show the radical entity receiving U.S.-made TOW anti-tank guided missile systems. The TOW launchers were believed to be intended for U.S.-backed entities, and not Nusra, the Washington Post reports.
Additionally, Nusra’s purported Twitter account posted a photo that shows the system in the hands of one of their jihadi fighters
The BGM-71 TOW, which was first developed in 1970, is known for its reliability and is relatively easy to assemble and use on the battlefield. “All you have to do is put it together properly, which is not that hard, and put the missile in,” Nicolas Ruffieri, a former Marine Corps TOW operator, told the Post of the user-friendly system.
TOW missiles were reportedly the weapons of choice that ended the lives of Saddam Hussein’s two sons Uday and Qusay. In July, 2003, the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne fired a 10 TOW missile barrage into their house, resulting in the dictator’s sons deaths.