AFRIN, Syria – In the last 24 hours, documentarians attached to the Syrian Army have released to our sources these stunning photos of large, expensive, gas powered digging machines used by the insurgent groups in Afrin.
Questions arise, where these came from, and how they were acquired. At this point, Americans and Turks – for the latter, at least earlier in the conflict – would have had both the motive and the ability to deliver such equipment. There is also the possibility that these were somehow taken from a Syrian city planning or development complex at some point. We will be looking for further information identifying the make and model of these digging machines, which will give us a better ideas as to the origin.
It must call into question how insurgents in a besieged part of Syria were able to acquire machinery that resembles models used by city planners to build sewer networks and other necessary infrastructure in a modern society. It can be speculated that it was captured when insurgents overwhelmed Afrin in the prior periods of this 7 year conflict which has seen a loss of life in the hundreds of thousands, with millions more displaced.
It will be months, perhaps years, before all the tunnels are mapped out that insurgents created.
What Syrian civilian city workers will find under the city for decades to come will be gruesome as countless hundreds of mortally wounded insurgents hid themselves in the tunnel networks to die slowly or wait for help.
This has been lethal as literally thousands of Syrian Army soldiers have been killed by underground bombs. Often, insurgents or terrorists would dig a tunnel under a strategic location like a military base or government building, and detonate bombs underneath the site, causing catastrophic damage and casualty numbers. This is a method used by Palestinian militants in Gaza to fight Israeli apartheid forces. It was also used by the Vietnamese to oust both French and later American occupiers.
*note – This article is updated from 13.00 as our prior information on the location was wrong. The above is the corrected version, accurately representing these as found in Afrin, not East Ghouta.