US Marines get captured Russian ATGM antitank missile systems from Syria

U.S. Marine Corps Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians completed a multi-day exploitation of illicit ordnance recently turned over by Syrian Defense Forces in Syria.
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AT-4B Spigot Anti-Tank Guided Missile obtained by partner forces in southern Syria (Picture source: U.S. DoD)

Specialists with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force – Crisis Response – Central Command, conducted a detailed examination of four AT-4B Spigot Anti-Tank Guided Missiles, which were recently obtained by partner forces in southern Syria. “Our explosive ordnance disposal technicians are uniquely qualified to dissemble a wide range of foreign munitions,” said U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Joshua Hays, the SPMAGTF-CR-CC spokesperson. “During the exploitation process, EOD technicians were able to gather valuable weapons data and retrieve biometric information to be analyzed. The final results assist partner forces in understanding both advanced weapons employment and provide a better understanding of illicit weapons trafficking patterns in the region,” Hays added.

According to the senior U.S. Marine Corps EOD officer in the Middle East, one of the four missiles recovered was malfunctioning and would have likely deviated significantly from its intended flightpath if fired. Although exact details surrounding the weapon system arriving in Syria are unknown at this time, the forensic data collected will help partner forces continue clearing out ordnance which threaten innocent bystanders.

In 2020 alone, approximately 100 individual pieces of ordnance have been processed and destroyed by U.S. Marine Corps EOD technicians. Of these items, nearly 30% were of Russian and Iranian manufactured. By removing this non-precise missile system from the battlefield, both the Syrian Democratic Forces and Coalition forces reduce the potential risk of collateral damage to civilians in the region.

The Coalition continues to advise and assist partner forces in Syria to enable them to continue their fight against Daesh.