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DIY Weapons of the Syrian Rebels

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Nearly two years after the start of Syria's popular uprising, the conflict has evolved into a slow-moving, brutal civil war with many players and no clear end in sight. Multiple rebel groups across the country continue to fight President Bashar al-Assad's forces, using any weapons they can get their hands on. While the rebels are using many modern tools, they've also come up with their own makeshift solutions. In these weapons workshops, anti-aircraft guns are welded to pickup trucks and armor shields are attached to machine guns and cars. Mortar shell nose cones are turned on lathes and explosives are mixed by hand. Homemade grenades are launched by jury-rigged shotguns or giant slingshots in the urban battlefields of Aleppo and Damascus. Gathered here are a few examples of the hand-built munitions of the Syrian rebels. [38 photos]

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Syrian rebels prepare to launch a bomb using a homemade slingshot in the northern city of Aleppo, on October 16, 2012. Lightly armed Syrian rebels who face the warplanes, artillery and tanks of loyalists have turned to making their own weapons, even rigging a video game controller to fire mortar rounds. (Tauseef Mustafa/AFP/Getty Images)
Syrian rebels prepare to launch a bomb using a homemade slingshot in the northern city of Aleppo, on October 16, 2012. Lightly armed Syrian rebels who face the warplanes, artillery and tanks of loyalists have turned to making their own weapons, even rigging a video game controller to fire mortar rounds. (Tauseef Mustafa/AFP/Getty Images)
Syrian rebels prepare missiles for launch near the Abu Baker brigade in Albab, 30 kilometers from Aleppo, on January 16, 2013. (Edouard Elias/AFP/Getty Images) #
Syrian rebels launch a missile near the Abu Baker brigade in Albab, Syria, on January 16, 2013. (Edouard Elias/AFP/Getty Images) #
A man works on an improvised mortar shell for the Free Syrian Army inside a factory that previously manufactured steel and iron in Aleppo, on February 18, 2013. (Reuters/Hamid Khatib) #
A Free Syrian Army member smokes a cigarette inside a factory producing improvised mortar shells in Aleppo on February 18, 2013. (Reuters/Hamid Khatib) #
A Free Syrian Army fighter places an improvised mortar shell inside a tube in a factory in Aleppo on February 18, 2013. (Reuters/Hamid Khatib) #
Free Syrian Army fighters battle with regime loyalist soldiers, using heavy machine gun to dislodge a sniper from his position overlooking the two main roads in the neighborhood of Askar, Aleppo, on October 24, 2012. (Javier Manzano/AFP/Getty Images) #
A rebel fighter prepares to throw a homemade grenade toward Syrian troops loyal to the regime who are hiding in a nearby building as they attempt to gain ground against rebel lines during heavy clashes in the Jedida district, Aleppo, on November 04, 2012. (AP Photo/Narciso Contreras) #
A Free Syrian Army fighter uses a catapult to fire a homemade grenade at Syrian Army soldiers during a fight in the Arabeen neighborhood, Damascus, on January 24, 2013. (Reuters/Goran Tomasevic) #
A Free Syrian Army fighter fires an anti-aircraft machine gun against a Syrian Army jet in the Saif al-Dula district, Aleppo, on September 19, 2012. (AP Photo/Manu Brabo) #
A homemade military vehicle called "Sham 1" in the Khan al-Assal area, Aleppo, on November 10, 2012. (Reuters/Zain Karam) #
A Free Syrian Army fighter makes a homemade missile at a workshop in north Aleppo, on December 29, 2012. (Reuters/Ahmed Jadallah) #
A Free Syrian Army fighter assembles homemade missiles at a workshop in north Aleppo on December 29, 2012. (Reuters/Ahmed Jadallah) #
Syrian rebel fighters stand around a cache of homemade missiles in Aleppo on August 21, 2012. The rebels say they get explosive materials from government shells which failed to explode. (Reuters/Youssef Boudlal) #
A young man works on the production of hand made missiles in a secret factory in Al-Bab, 30 kilometers from Aleppo, on January 19, 2013. Unexploded bombs are collected after government shelling, and their components are recycled by rebel groups. Each day, nearly 50 missiles are assembled for the Abu baker Brigade. (Edouard Elias/AFP/Getty Images) #
Syrian brothers who used to be musicians make homemade explosives for the Free Syrian Army in the Ma'ar Shamarine village, near Idlib, on January 15, 2013. (Reuters/Ghaith Taha) #
Rebel fighters prepare to combat Syrian regime forces in the village of Kurnaz, close to the western city of Hama, on January 27, 2013. Using light weapons, more than a dozen rebel fighters took up defensive positions in Kurnaz against Syrian army tanks roughly four kilometers distant which were firing shells around them. (Aamir Qureshi/AFP/Getty Images) #
Members of the Free Syrian Army use a catapult to launch a homemade bomb during clashes with pro-government soldiers in the city of Aleppo on October 15, 2012. (Reuters/Asmaa Waguih) #
Free Syrian Army fighters stand by a homemade military vehicle called "Sham 2" in Khan al-Assal area, Aleppo, on November 10, 2012. (Reuters/Zain Karam) #
A Syrian rebel uses a videogame controller to activate the machine gun of "Sham 2," a homemade armored vehicle made by the rebels' al-Ansar brigade, in Bishqatin, 4 km west of Aleppo, on December 8, 2012. (Herve Bar/AFP/Getty Images) #
A Syrian rebel walks past "Sham 2," a homemade armored vehicle in Bishqatin, Syria, on December 8, 2012. From a distance it looks almost like a big rusty metal box but closer inspection reveals a homemade armored vehicle waiting to be deployed. Sham 2, named after ancient Syria, is built from the chassis of a car and touted by rebels as "100 percent made in Syria." (Herve Bar/AFP/Getty Images) #
Free Syrian Army fighters prepare a homemade missile before they launch it toward the military airport in north Aleppo on December 23, 2012. (Reuters/Ahmed Jadallah) #
A member of the Free Syrian Army lies down on a bed next to weapons inside a house in Aleppo's Saif al-Dawla district on August 29, 2012. (Reuters/Zain Karam) #
A rebel fighter fires a truck-mounted gun toward a building where Syrian troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad are hiding during heavy clashes in the Jedida district, Aleppo, on November 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Narciso Contreras) #
A fighter from the Free Syrian Army's Tahrir al-Sham brigade looks at an improvised shotgun, used to fire improvised grenades, in the Arabeen neighborhood of Damascus on February 9, 2013. (Reuters/Mohammed Abdullah) #
Fighters from the Free Syrian Army's Tahrir al-Sham brigade light the fuse of an improvised grenade, ready to launch it from a modified shotgun, toward Syrian Army soldiers in the Arabeen neighborhood of Damascus on February 9, 2013. (Reuters/Goran Tomasevic) #
A bomb maker from Abu Suleiman's group of rebel fighters wires pipe bombs, which are detonated in specific areas to cut access to their mountainous stronghold in the northern Syrian province of Idlib, on March 20, 2012. Abu Suleiman, who finances the weapons for the unit which carries his name, has assembled one of the multitude of armed groups fighting the regime. (Frederic Lafargue/AFP/Getty Images) #
A Free Syrian Army fighter holds the head of a mannequin up to a hole in a wall of a Syrian Army base to attract and locate a sniper during heavy fighting in the Arabeen neighborhood of Damascus, on February 3, 2013. (Reuters/Goran Tomasevic) #
Free Syrian Army fighters stand beside a locally made anti-aircraft weapon near the Menagh military airport, in Aleppo's countryside, on February 17, 2013. (Reuters/Mahmoud Hassano) #
Free Syrian Army fighters use the electronic compass of a smartphone to help them aim a locally made anti-aircraft weapon near the Menagh military airport, in Aleppo's countryside, on February 17, 2013. (Reuters/Mahmoud Hassano) #
Opposition fighters prepare homemade firebombs in the northern Syrian city of of Aleppo on July 25, 2012. (Pierre Torres/AFP/Getty Images) #
A Free Syrian Army Fighter, on a vehicle mounted with an anti-aircraft artillery weapon, speaks with his comrade before heading to Wadi al-Deif, where clashes with forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad is taking place in Idlib, on February 6, 2013. (Reuters/Raed Al-Fares/Shaam News Network) #
Rebel arms maker Abu al-Fadhel shows off a row of homemade weapons including a hand grenade, a portable rocket launcher, and various rockets with explosive warheads at a location in Aleppo province, on October 17, 2012. Lightly armed Syrian rebels who face the warplanes, artillery and tanks of President Bashar al-Assad's forces have turned to making their own weapons to fill major gaps in their armories. (Tauseef Mustafa/AFP/Getty Images) #
Syrian rebels adjust a homemade mortar launcher in the northern city of Aleppo on October 16, 2012. (Tauseef Mustafa/AFP/Getty Images) #
Free Syrian Army fighters use a homemade slingshot in old Aleppo on January 29, 2013. (Reuters/Zain Karam) #
A rebel fighter carries an improvised explosive device as they try to repel a coordinated attack by using mortar, tank and aerial artillery fire carried out by loyalists to President Bashar al-Assad in the Jedida district of Aleppo on November 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Narciso Contreras) #
Free Syrian Army fighters fire a rocket towards a castle where pro-government forces are based, in Harem town, Idlib Governorate, on October 28, 2012. (Reuters/Asmaa Waguih) #
A man brings together hand-made missiles in a secret rebel factory in al-Bab, near Aleppo on January 19, 2013. (Edouard Elias/AFP/Getty Images) #

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