Turkish shells in Russian shotgun to hunt the dogs of Jebel al-Zawiya.
Last September, in Syria, we accompanied members of the al-Khalaf family into a dog-hunting trip. When the army of Bashar al-Assad was occupying the Jebel al-Zawiya area, dogs proliferated by eating the corpses that were dumped in the fields. Today, they wander in flock near the villages, attacking the livings, and now they have to be hunted down.
The box of shotgun shells you see above was bought by a member of the al-Khalaf family, from an arms dealer established in the Idlib province, for the equivalent of €15 per box. C.J. Chivers (@cjchivers), senior writer for The New York Times, has found a box of the same brand during his last trip in Aleppo.
Why are we publishing this? In an effort, as C.J. Chivers puts it,
to encourage journalists and researchers in conflict zones and post-conflict areas to document and share details on the tools of war, so that these tools may be better followed, and understood, as they move about our world. If governments and manufactures will not be transparent about weapons transfers, those out in the field where the weapons have their effects can be transparent about where they are found.
We could not be more supportive of such an effort.
More pictures now, of the weapon those Turkish shells were feeding: The two hunters we accompanied were using this Russian-made shotgun (we had to take several pictures, as the weapon was next to us in the car).
This firearm was also used to hunt the birds we ate. There is a lot to say about this hunting. We leave this for another post, later.