(By Osservatorio Mashrek) Rebel groups are using remote-controlled guns in Syraq according to report from U.S Army. Remotely-operated sniper rifles and machines guns are becoming a powerful weapon for rebel groups in Iraq and Syria — including the Islamic State — allowing fighters to kill with the ease of pressing a button. The remote-controlled guns- common in the U.S. military- are being adopted by the Free Syrian Army, Shia militias and Kurdish fighters in Iraq as well as jihadist groups, like ISIS, U.S media reported.
According to the blog Warisboring -which cites an August report by the U.S. Army’s Foreign Military Studies Office- there are 20 distinct teleoperated weapons spotted in Iraq and Syria that can be traced to specific armed factions.
Quality -and accuracy - may vary. A teleoperated PK-style machine gun operated by the FSA in Aleppo in 2013 had no scope. Mobile versions, including two tracked FSA machine guns, and a mobile device built by the Al-Qaeda linked Al Sunna Knights, are laughably crude.
Some of the weapons look like they may topple over at any moment.
And the types of weapons are as diverse as the firearms seen in the conflict. The Kurdish peshmerga created a teleoperated MG3—a German machine gun which traces its origins back to the 1940s. FSA rebels in Aleppo in September 2013 even converted a World War II-era German StG-44 into a remotely-triggered sniper rifle.
Such guns are used by militaries around the world in countries like Israel and South Korea. The U.S., which has thousands mounted on tanks and vehicles, is testing out a new machine-gun robot called MAARS, the blog reported.
But the remotely-controlled guns are growing in numbers among rebel groups looking for a cheap way to operate deadly weapons using personal computers and cameras.
“It is evident by these cases — and others not listed — that terrorists and insurgents are increasingly turning to teleoperated weaponry to support and augment their forces in battle,” authors of the reaserch Robert Bunker and Alma Keshavarz wrote in their report. “This is especially the case in the Aleppo region of Syria that has become an ‘incubator of experimentation’ with regard to these systems.”
“In many cases, if not all, they are using expert technicians and engineers to fashion robotics that will function as remote controlled weapons,” they wrote. “It is troublesome to wonder how well they would do if they had better materials — potentially making something that could actually match the weaponry developed in the United States.”