Weapons Used by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan During Recent Operations in the Tribal Areas
On October 11, 2022, 'Umar Media', Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan’s (TTP) official propaganda outlet, released a new video showing their attacks and activities in the tribal regions. TTP uses a variety of weapons, from assault rifles to mortars during these attacks. Overall, the group has an effective and diverse arsenal.
The most common weapon used by the group is 7.62x39mm AKM-type assault rifle. Some of these guns are locally fitted with Egyptian Misr AK-type side-folding stocks. These stocks are widely used in the Pak-Afghan region.
In addition to AK-type assault rifles, 7.62x54mmR caliber PK variant machine guns and SVD-pattern designated marksman rifles (DMRs) are among the weapons commonly used by militants in attacks in the region. It should also be noted that some of the SVD-pattern DMRs are probably Type 85 DMRs (the Chinese-manufactured copy of the SVD marksman rifle) commonly found in the region.
At the same time, the RPG-7 and its Chinese copy, the Type 69 RPG Launcher, are among the weapons frequently used by TTP, mostly along with the PG-7V and OG-7V pattern projectiles.
In addition to these weapons, TTP also used various rockets, mortars, and recoilless rifles (RCLs) in attacks. The most common of these are the B-10 type RCLs: possibly the "Type 65" RCL variants of the B-10 made in China.
Type 65 RCLs are also one of the most commonly used recoilless rifles in the Af-Pak region. These guns are generally used with the Chinese DK-82 projectiles. In TTP's video, TTP militants are seen with DK-82 projectiles.
In addition, militants use M20-type RCL from time to time. Just like the previous example, these weapons are probably Chinese copies of the M20 called "Type 52/56".
The two different Chinese-made RCLs mentioned above are also frequently used by armed non-state groups in both Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Of course, these are not the only Chinese weapons used by TTP. Like various non-state armed groups (NSAG) in Af-Pak, TTP uses 107mm Chinese rockets and launchers.
The most common 107mm rocket used in the region is the Chinese "Type 63-2" HE rocket. Although rare, Iranian copies of these rockets are fired from Fadjr-1 launchers in Afghanistan, but most of these rockets used in Pakistan are made in China. This type of rocket is also frequently used by the Islamic State’s Khurasan Province (ISKP) in Afghanistan.
In the video published by TTP, the single-tube Chinese Type 85 launcher is used by the militants to fire the rockets.
In addition to the RCLs, TTP militants also included the use of mortars in the video they released.
Soviet-made 82mm "82-BM-37" mortars were used by militants in various attacks. These mortars are also one of the most frequently used mortars in the Af-Pak region. The Soviet-made mortars used by TTP probably have their origins in former Soviet stockpiles in Afghanistan.
In the photo above, we see that Chinese 82mm Type 53 mortar rounds were used together with the 82-BM-37 mortar.
When examined in general, the weapons used by the militants in the video released by TTP are the variants frequently used in the region. Although TTP shows in other videos and photos that it has various modern weapons seized from state security forces and smuggled from Afghanistan, these are not seen in this video. Many of the heavy weapons in the video are Chinese replicas or ex-Soviet weapons smuggled out of Afghanistan.
Still, the TTP is capable of using a variety of weapons, including heavy weapons, and inflicting heavy damage against their enemies in combat. This capacity makes the TTP an organization that is effective and able to conduct significant operations in the region.
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