Thursday, 1 January 2015

Syria's ATGM carriers, remaining in the background



As the now almost four-year-long Syrian Civil War continues, equipment previously unknown to have been operated by Syria still comes to light, including ATGM carriers. The reason for the slow introduction of Syria's anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) carriers has much to do with their intended role: destroying enemy armour from longer ranges. As the rebels only operate limited numbers of armoured vehicles, deploying ATGM carriers to the battlefield would have little use.

It was only recently that numerous ATGMs were distributed to the NDF in an effort to increase their firepower. Some NDF batallions directly facing rebel-held towns are now able to immediately return fire with their ATGMs after being fired upon, making it hard for the rebels to employ armour or artillery in and near these towns.

Therefore it has only been recently that Syria's large fleet of ATGMs has seen use with the Syrian Arab Army and the National Defence Force (NDF) in the Civil War, mostly fired at houses in an effort to clear the rebel presence inside. Due to their precision, ATGMs are well suited, albeit very expensive, for this task. Because of the low building quality in Syria, most houses can be easily penetrated by ATGMs.

This swift change of tactics also means a new dawn for the Syrian Arab Army's 9P148 ATGM carriers. Based on the chassis of the BRDM-2, the 9P148 can fire both the 9M113 'Konkurs' and the older 9M111 'Fagot' and is a considerable improvement over the older 9P122 and 9P133, both still firing the Malyutka ATGM.

Although the 9P148 still sees active use, most of the Syrian Arab Army's 9P122s remain in storage. The delivery of thousands of modern ATGMs meant there was a decreasing need for the ageing 9P122s, and most were placed in reserve shortly before the Civil War began. In their intended role, striking Israeli Merkava tanks on the Golan Heights, the 9P122 would have been as good as chanceless anyway. It is interesting to note the Malyutka missile itself still remains in active use in Syria, and more modern Iranian variants continue to be delivered even today.













Distributing the ATGM carriers amongst entrenched forces facing towns and vast swaths of open land is an effective way to enchance their capability to deny the possible deployment of heavy weaponry by the rebels. As the Syrian Arab Army and the National Defence Force (NDF) are increasingly forced to look for other means to ensure superiority in firepower, these mobile ATGM carriers might be just at the beginning of their career.




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22 comments:

  1. Any information on the last picture in regards to the nationality of the soldiers
    Three of the four don't seem to be syrian,maybe from Afghanistan.

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    1. was about to comment the same, certainly have that "central asia look" to them, Afgans, Uzbeks or something.

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    2. These are Afghans formerly jailed or living in Iran, most of them drug dealers, thugs or illegal immigrants. All were originally destined to rot in Iranian jails, but were send off to the Syrian battlefield instead. These Afghans make up a large part of the Shia militias in and around Aleppo.

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    3. This sounds interesting. I've heard of Syrian jail inmates who were given weapons and sent to the frontline to fight there and be pardonend in the end.
      Of course I know that you have a lot of work to do to keep this blog updated, but is there a possibility to read a text about militias and combatants of the forces loyal to the regime one day? It would be an interesting topic and underline the international character of the regime forces fighting there.

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    4. Sure, I might do that one day.

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    5. Looking forward to it

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  2. "These are Afghans formerly jailed or living in Iran, most of them drug dealers, thugs or illegal immigrants. All were originally destined to rot in Iranian jails, but were send off to the Syrian battlefield instead. These Afghans make up a large part of the Shia militias in and around Aleppo."

    And FSA are doctors and lawyers....
    You have any proof for this or you just saw that on FSA, Nusra .. twitter accounts?

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    Replies
    1. Its a bit more credible than that - some more main stream media have brushed up against the topic, although of course you have to take their stuff with the usual grain of salt.

      http://edition.cnn.com/2014/10/31/world/meast/syria-afghan-fighter/

      I do, however, find it a bit much to conclude these gentlemen's nationalities based soley on a single image. I remember a similar occurrence several months ago where people where concluding that a particular individual standing around an IRAM was an East European adviser based solely on his complexion. I think a bit more caution is in order.

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    2. There's a lot of information on the deployment of Afghans in Syria available on the internet, you didn't saw that on (pro) SAA, Hizbullah or Iranian .. twitter accounts right?

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    3. ''I do, however, find it a bit much to conclude these gentlemen's nationalities based soley on a single image. I remember a similar occurrence several months ago where people where concluding that a particular individual standing around an IRAM was an East European adviser based solely on his complexion. I think a bit more caution is in order.''

      Along with several other images, this image was found on a dead Afghan's mobile phone.

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    4. You know why ask if you have some proofs, you really think that Syrian army would give such expensive and sophisticated arms to some ex drug dealers, thugs or illegal immigrants. Please...
      Keep up the good work, try to stay objective and neutral.

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    5. These mercenaries can be been posing in front of a GAZ-66 and a 9P122, but does that mean they actually operate these (dusty and certainly not operational) vehicles?

      The pictured GAZ-66 and 9P122 were only chosen because they look 'cool' on photos.

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  3. "Along with several other images, this image was found on a dead Afghan's mobile phone."

    According to how many sources? How do we know the individual in question is Afghani?

    I'm not saying he is, or he isn't, but that seems to be very tenuous evidence backing such claims. Given the amount of disinformation being peddled on both sides I am always cautious with this stuff.

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    Replies
    1. 1.They have Afghan look not Syrian ,Iranian or any Middle eastern look
      2.Iran was organizing Shia volunteers from Afghanistan from a long time
      3.Iran has a large amount drug dealers that are caught from Afghanistan and most of them are executed so many of the probably volunteered to go to Syria

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    2. The evidence you are presenting is grossly circumstantial.

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  4. Excellent article, as usual.

    Keep up for the work. Excellent day!

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  5. "Because of the low building quality in Syria, most houses can be easily penetrated by ATGMs"

    Are you saying that American house are made of composite armor covered by ERA?

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  6. Is there any info on the BMP-3 used in the war and if yes, could you post an article about that ? That would make an interesting topic ! Excellent page by the way !

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    Replies
    1. Syria never acquired any BMP-3s, so that would turn out to be a short article I'm afraid.

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    2. Thats what i thought too, but after some googling my search brought up some pages which list the BMP-3 as acquired by Syria through 2001 to 2003. Is this just false information or unconfirmed rumors ? I always thought that globalsecurity is quite an reliable source.

      Sources:

      http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/syria/army-equipment.htm

      https://books.google.de/books?id=Yr_DsC59L3UC&pg=PA171&lpg=PA171&dq=BMP-3+syria&source=bl&ots=FMkv6aTT6i&sig=ZAy_3YLEi3SzlAU1udwra57_fuc&hl=de&sa=X&ei=2LOzVMzjBMOtPIfLgPgB&ved=0CEgQ6AEwBTgK#v=onepage&q=BMP-3%20syria&f=false

      http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMP-3#K.C3.A4ufer ("unbekannte Anzahl": unknown number)

      http://ordersofbattle.darkscape.net/site/almanac/2004/Syria2004.pdf

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    3. False information, just like the acquisition of T-80s.

      ''I always thought that globalsecurity is quite an reliable source.''

      No, just no.

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    4. Okay, thank you anyway !

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