The weapon with the cone-shaped missile that Abu Omeir brandishes in the video is indeed an SA-16, or a non-Russian-made "variant," said Matt Schroeder, senior analyst with the Federation of American Scientists and consultant for the Small Arms Survey, a Geneva-based research group.
Abu Omeir said he learned to use the SA-16 and other antiaircraft weapons during his compulsory military service, part of which was served at an air defense unit. Other fighters have received similar training in the weapon system, which Syrian authorities stocked as a prospective response to attack from Israel or another foreign enemy.
Abu Omeir says he receives great satisfaction from heading off bombardment of insurgent-held areas such as his hometown, Daret Izza, which has been heavily shelled, forcing much of the population to flee.
"You cannot describe the feeling of total happiness and victory because you stopped the plane from bombing your hometown full of children, women and elders," said Abu Omeir, who said he joined the rebel ranks a year ago.