STG-44, aka Sturmgewehr 44, the world’s first assault weapon.
The US backed Free Syrian Army [FSA] allegedly uncovered a stockpile of 5,000 STG-44s in 2012. A video released at the time had WWII militaria collectors everywhere wishing the weapons could be accessed and imported.
So, how did 5000 of those historic pieces get to Syria? Probably from Africa.
JWH1975 explains that first the Russians captured them.
When WWII ended in 1945, the Soviet army retained and stored every StG-44 it found. By best estimate, in 1948 there were about 102,000 StG-44s in Soviet custody. As the SKS and AK-47 were already entering Soviet use, the captured StG-44s were not issued to Soviet units but rather made available for transfer abroad, with Czechoslovakia being the first and main recipient, followed by East Germany. Hungary also received a small (about 4,000) batch, and Yugoslavia also received some prior to itâ€™s split with the east bloc. These joined StG-44s captured by the Yugoslavs themselves. Finally the Soviets transferred a few to North Vietnam; these in turn were joined by more transferred from Czechoslovakia and East Germany (which themselves had come from the USSR) as those two countries phased the type out.
Lots of them ended up in Africa, dispatched by Russia, and its satellite proxies Czechoslovakia and East Germany, to Soviet-sponsored insurgent groups in Algeria and Somalia, with others also sold to the governments of Egypt and Libya.