“They’re even building mortars”
In Syria, before the start of the war, weapons were not readily available, and only very few people had the right to bear arms. The FSA’s shortage of weapons and munitions is its main weakness against the regular army. The FSA’s needs have grown due to the increasing number of deserters or volunteers who are joining its ranks — which explains the initiative to manufacture its own weapons.The idea caught on last April when, due to a munitions shortage, soldiers used marbles instead of bullets in their guns. Members of the FSA began to make Molotov cocktails and explosives from chemical products. It’s not hard to do, since instructions are available online, as are YouTube tutorials.The FSA then began trying to manufacture more complicated weapons. They started with handguns and rifles. Now, they are making bombs with fuses, rocket launchers, sniper rifles, mortars and even missiles with a 1km [around 3,281 feet] range.Simple artisans, blacksmiths, and carpenters have transformed their workshops into weapons factories, with the help of deserting soldiers. It’s easy to find manufacturing materials in the streets of our ravaged cities. These days, it takes on average about one month to make mortar, and a gun can be made in about three days.The quantity or quality of these weapons should not be exaggerated. They are only used in extreme circumstances, either by new recruits who have no weapons, or during defensive manoeuvers. The FSA would never be able to launch a real attack against the regular army with homemade weapons alone. The shortage of weapons is still the number one problem here.