Long-discarded American weapon now put to use by Syrian rebels

Posted at 4:28 PM, Jun 01, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-01 16:28:44-04

An American-made, Vietnam-vintage weapon that was dropped from the Army and Marine inventory in the early 1970s has become a handy weapon for rebels fighting the Syrian government today.

It blasts bunkers, blockhouses, fortified positions, or places where snipers are hiding. It even goes after tanks, according to Danger Room.

It’s the M40 106mm recoilless rifle.

Until recently, the 106mm hadn’t seen much action in the irregular wars that have swept the globe. Then M40s somehow came into the hands of rebels in Libya and Syria. Suddenly, the 106mm – light, cheap, easily transportable, simple to operate, and packing a punch all out of proportion to its modest size — has emerged as a possible Great Asymmetric Weapon of the Day.

While the M40 makes a big comeback in the Middle East, dozens of other armies all over the world never stopped using it. The Danish and Australian armies have used the 106mm in Afghanistan with excellent results. It turns out that in many instances they have outperformed the expensive, high tech, anti-tank rockets like the TOW, the Javelin and others that were supposed to replace the M40 four decades ago.

Read more at Danger Room.