If there’s one thing to be said about war, it can certainly act as a drive towards technological progress whilst, of course, causing widespread destruction simultaneously. This interesting piece of combat footage shows a rebel group in Syria using a remote control gun controlled by a PlayStation pad from a PS2, to devastating effect.

Whilst remote-controlled similar to the one in the video are common in the Israeli, South Korean, and U.S. military, throughout the Syrian Civil War and the Civil War in Iraq they have been increasingly utilized by the Free Syrian Army, Shia militias, and Kurdish fighters. Of course, they have been utilized by the terror group ISIS as well.

Remote control gun
A fascinating example of a remote controlled weapon in the form of an STG 44 – Photo via The Firearm Blog.

The sheer amount of combat footage that has flooded the internet from Syria and Iraq tells us that the region is awash with tonnes of military-grade weapons, computers, and cameras. But various factions are now combining all of these tools to create various types of a remote control gun. It’s believed that the bulk of such weapons have stemmed from the war-torn city of Aleppo. Where locals specializing in electronics and engineering have turned their skills to creating deadly equipment.

Similarly, Allepo was also the quasi-birthplace of the Hellcannon used by the Free Syrian Army (FSA). Known as the Jahannam (Hell) in Arabic, the Hellcannon was first produced by insurgents belonging to Ahrar Al-Shamal Brigade back in 2012. Initially, the manufacture of the weapon took place at a plant in the Syrian town of Binnish but later moved to Aleppo where various manufacturing and engineering businesses were repurposed for production of the weapon.

Remote control gun

According to War is Boring, a report released by the U.S. military claimed that it is worrying thought as to what such insurgent groups and irregular forces creating such remote control guns, could do if they had access to better materials. Potentially, they have the ability to one day create a weapon that matches the capability of similar weapons developed in the United States.

The Syrian Civil war

The Syrian civil war began in 2011 and continues to rage into its tenth year. The war in Syria is an ongoing multi-sided civil war in Syria being fought between the Ba’athist Syrian Arab Republic led by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, along with domestic and foreign allies such as Iran and Russia, and various domestic and foreign forces opposing both the Syrian government and each other in varying combinations. The war is currently the second deadliest of the 21st century.

The Syrian Civil War erupted during the Arab Spring protests in 2011. Discontent with the long-reigning Assad regime turned into protests which were subsequently put down with violent force by the Assad regime. Shortly after, the discontent erupted into armed conflict.

Remote control gun
The Syrian Civil War. Photo by TRT World

The war is multi-sided and features a range of domestic factions: the Syrian Armed Forces and its international allies, a loose alliance of mostly Sunni opposition rebel groups (including the Free Syrian Army), Salafi jihadist groups (including Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham), the Kurdish-Arab Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), and the ISIS. However, the Syrian Civil War is most certainly an international conflict that features various countries being either directly involved or providing support to one or another faction such as Iran, Russia, Turkey, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

Almost every side involved in the Syrian Civil War has been heavily criticized for their behavior or actions. The Assad government, ISIS, opposition rebel groups, Russia, Turkey, and the U.S.-led coalition have all been accused of human rights breaches and war crimes. The war has caused the most serious refugee crisis in modern times.

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Batya (Батя) is the founder of Reaper Feed. He is an international security advisor and a high-risk expedition leader across former and active conflict zones such as Eastern Ukraine, unrecognized post-Soviet states, the North Caucasus, and the Middle East. Batya founded Reaper Feed to provide unprecedented insight into the lesser-seen sides of human conflict and modern warfare. He is from the UK but his work means he is based in various countries around the world.