BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:15 A.M.) – During recent days, the Syrian Army reclaimed a key air defense base near the town of Ash-Shifuniyah (the settlement itself retaken from rebel control) in Damascus’ East Ghouta region.
Under the control of the Jaysh al-Islam militant group, the air defense base served as a storage depot for ground-to-ground rockets and their mobile launchers among other munitions.
Although mostly evacuated of important weapons and munitions before government troops overran the military installation, a homemade (yet rather advanced) rocket artillery piece unique to Jaysh al-Islam – the so-called ‘Arrow of Islam 3’ system – was captured by the Syrian Army.
With a similar range to the Russian-built Grad multiple launch rocket systems, the Arrow of Islam 3 system has been used by the militant group to shell Syrian military bases in the Damascus region.
In general the system gives Jaysh al-Islam the ability to strike into the operational depth of government forces against key targets.