The main individual firearm in the Syrian Arab Army and other Syrian forces was the famous AK-47/AKM, made in USSR, China, Eastern Europe, including teh Hungarian and Yugoslav clones.
In the early ’90s, Syria acquired a small batch of AK-74M rifles. They were used by elite formations and did not trickle down to the army’s main forces. Therefore the Syrian forces had to cope with the international terrorists’ aggression using the decades-old AK-47, AKM, and Type 56.
Syria spent decades preparing for a confrontation with its main rival, Israel, therefore assembled considerable numbers of small arms, but the intensive fighting raised an urgent need for new weapons. Particularly since foreign sponsors were arming terrorists with modern rifles.
Therefore it’s unsurprising that military aid to Syrian forces included not only heavy weapon systems, but also rifles, machine-guns, latest-model sniper rifles. Media photographs coming from the war zone indicate that the AK-74M rifle can now be seen in the hands of Syrian troops with greater frequency. These weapons have earned high praise from troops who used them in bloody battles.
Syrians are also of high opinion of another Kalashnikov weapon, the AK-104, which was supplied in smaller numbers and equips mainly special forces units.
The 104 can be visually identified by its shorter barrel with a flash suppressor, the black protective coating, and the shatter-proof plastic. It uses 7.62mm ammunition. It weighs 3.7kg loaded, it is 824mm long with stock unfolded, and has an effective range of 500m and a cyclical rate of fire of 600rpm. It uses the standard 30-round AK magazines.
This war is the first where the AK-104 has seen action but, like other Kalashnikov rifles, it too has demonstrated its phenomenal dependability and ease of use, which earned it the Syrian soldiers approval.