Thursday, 7 August 2014

The spoils of Brigade 93, captured by the Islamic State

By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

Boosted by the large quantities of weaponry and ammunition captured at Regiment 121 just more than a week ago, fighters of the Islamic State took overran another regime stronghold in Nothern Syria on the 7th of August 2014, Brigade 93. This base, part of Division 17, was home to around fifty tanks, seventeen howitzers, numerous anti-aircraft guns, countless trucks and various other armoured fighting vehicles. Although some of this equipment may have been distributed to other bases, most of it was still believed to have been present on the base during the attack.

BM-21s captured at Regiment 121 were used to attack Brigade 93 before the main assault begun, reportedly setting parts of it ablaze. The base was then attacked by three VBIEDs, clearing a path for Islamic State fighters storming the base. During the attack that followed around ninety fighters of the Islamic State are believed to have died along with around 300 regime soldiers and another hundred captured, which were subsequently executed. Only a few soldiers managed to evade initial capture by the Islamic State, with most of the fleeing personnel surrendering in the desert and subsequently executed as well.

Footage and images of the base show at least thirty T-55s, two BRDM-2s, ten 122mm D-30 howitzer and one 130mm M-46 field-gun captured by the fighters of the Islamic State, making the capture of Brigade 93 the largest heavy-arms haul of the Syrian Civil War so far.

Interestingly, the attackers employed a wide variety of armoured fighting vehicles, including at least one U.S. M-1114 captured in Iraq. A 122mm BM-21 multiple-rocket launcher, likely one of the examples captured at Regiment 121 can also be seen. The SyAAF would also pound the airbase during the assault, which is believed to have caused little damaged to the equipment littered on the base, which should have been a priority target.

The Islamic State also captured its first self-propelled anti-aircraft gun (SPAAG). Although originally designed to attack air targets, the four 23mm guns of the ZSU-23 are often used against ground targets.

The two remaining regime strongholds in Nothern Syria, Tabqa and Kweres airbase are obviously next on the list. Tabqa airbase is home to at least two squadrons operating MiG-21s and has provided most of the air support for regime forces located in the North of Syria. Kweres was the Syrian Arab Air Force's main training base before the revolution, housing three squadrons worth of MBB-SIAT 223K1 Flamingos, PAC MFI-17 Mushshaks and L-39s.

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The spoils of Regiment 121, captured by the Islamic State


  1. With the videos of the beheading of captured Syrian soldiers one would think that the remaining ones would fight to the death. with all that firepower, tanks howizters I would think they could withstand an assault. New protocol at Syrian bases should be to annihilate any vehicle that approaches to cut down on the vehicle bombs used by ISIS.

  2. You think IS is a child boys team, it took on the US from the outset joining up with AQ with zhaqawari leading the charge. They defeated the US militarily and the US COIN strategy was a failure until another part of the insurgency SAHWA tribal forces turned on them because they were too brutal. This time no tribal groups lead the insurgency and the IS are very much forcused on traitors. hate IS methods but their effective no one will be able to stop their advance for the foreseeable. They have shown to destroy large conventional army static position and overrun them not even the taliban are at such an level, its over for assad IS wins all and i think jordan and saudia will be next before iran. US is too broke to fix anything and plus it will only make it worse they can't fight on 2 frons no more its either engage china or come back to the ME. Fr US interests china is the immediate danger.

  3. Im not looking to get into a political discussion here as you appear to want Im just pointing out what would make sense from a military perspective.

  4. to answer your question. Yes they are child soldiers being manipulated by a few very evil men. US coin Strategy was a success. if it wasnt they would have been successful in Iraq. they werent. IS is at its peak now and will slowly be marginalized again. America won't have to take care of IS, Middle Eastern s states will finally wake up and do it themselves.

  5. And today IS has lost this base to the Euphrates Volcano alliance.