Video: Syrian rebels use Second World War cannon

Syrian rebels have appropriated a Nazi-era artillery cannon which they are using in their fight to drive Bashar al-Assad's forces out of Idlib, according to a report by German newspaper Bild.

In a YouTube video released by Shaam News Network, members of the Islamic Front rebel group are seen loading and firing the 10.5 cm leFH18 cannon, one of the most common artillery guns used by German forces during the Second World War.

Bild reported that a German weapons expert said that the Syrian army probably had a few of the weapons in service and that the rebels may have stolen it from regime forces or a museum.

The light field howitzers were designed in 1920 and began to be used by the Wehrmacht (the unified German forces) in 1935. In the next decade, some 10,000 were produced and exported across Europe, though it remains a mystery as to how the weapons ended up in Syria. They are capable of firing 14kg artillery shells up to a distance of 10km.

In the video, the rebels are seen firing shells in their attack on Ariha, one of the last towns held by the regime in Idlib province in northwestern Syria.

The Islamic Front is a coalition of multiple Islamist groups aimed at toppling the Assad regime.

In 2012, members of the Free Syrian Army posted a video in which they claimed to have found a cache of 5,000 STG-44 rifles, also used by German forces during the Second World War, in Aleppo.