Skip to main content

Hamas manufactures Iranian AM-50 sniper rifles in underground bunkers in Gaza

On December 21, 2023, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, released a video revealing the internal production of 12.7 mm caliber sniper rifles and their corresponding ammunition. These operations are reportedly conducted in underground facilities in Gaza. The rifles displayed appear to be copies of the Iranian AM-50 Sayyad model, developed from the Austrian Steyr HS.50 rifles acquired by Iran.
Follow Army Recognition on Google News at this link

Army Recognition Global Defense and Security news
Iranian AM-50 sniper rifles manufactured in underground bunkers in Gaza by Hamas movement. (Picture source: Russian social media)

In this video, the AM-50 Sayyad is presented as a bolt-action anti-material rifle, manually loaded without the use of a magazine, and designed for 12.7 × 99 mm ammunition. Weighing about 12 kg and measuring 1.5 meters in length, the Sayyad can hit targets at a maximum distance of 1500 meters. Although this rifle is used in several conflicts in the Middle East, notably in Yemen and Gaza, a report by Conflict Armament Research highlighted production and finishing defects, suggesting variations in Iranian manufacturing facilities. It is unknown if these same issues are present in the versions produced by Hamas.

The use of such a weapon by Hamas and the Islamic Jihad organization is not new. This recent development is part of an ongoing collaboration between Hamas and Iran since the Palestinian elections in January 2006. Indeed, since January 2006 and following the Palestinian elections, Iran has committed to supporting the security forces of the Hamas government. This promise was made during a meeting between the Palestinian Interior Minister Said Siyam, Iranian President Ahmadinejad, and Supreme Leader Khamenei. The Sunday Times reported that after the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005, Hamas sent hundreds of its members to Iran for military training led by the Revolutionary Guards. This training included courses on guerrilla tactics and armament technology. The most successful members remained for advanced training and later returned as instructors.

Since 2007, Hamas has begun to structure its military and security force on the model of Hezbollah, establishing a clear hierarchy, dividing tasks, setting up a training system, forming groups for arms smuggling, preparing explosive devices, and planning terrorist attacks targeting the vulnerabilities of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).

From a tactical standpoint, with a firing rate ranging between 3 and 5 shots per minute, the AM-50 is adaptable to various optical equipment, including night vision scopes and thermal cameras. Palestinian militant groups, including Hamas, have been using the AM-50 since at least 2010, and seem to have recently succeeded in locally producing copies of this rifle, as evidenced in the video.

The AM-50 Sayyad, now in the hands of groups such as Hamas, signifies a substantial shift in the armament landscape in Gaza. Its capacity to engage long-distance targets and disable lightly armored vehicles makes it especially potent in urban warfare and asymmetrical conflicts, where it can be employed to immobilize vehicle columns or for precision strikes. The local production of these rifles in significant quantities further enhances their strategic impact on the battlefield. 


Copyright © 2019 - 2024 Army Recognition | Webdesign by Zzam