DAMASCUS, SYRIA (1:00 A.M.) – In what later proved to be a blatant propaganda stunt, ISIS claimed it had obliterated one of the Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) T-90 tanks on the western outskirts of Al-Mayadeen on Thursday.
Publishing three images to back up the claim, Amaq Agency featured an alleged T-90 tank with its turret decapitated from its main body:
ISIS, through its media wing, also said it had killed upwards of 50 government troops near Al-Mayadeen on Thursday alone in an ambush on a government convoy that was traveling southwards along the M4 Highway.
Upon hearing of the story, Al-Masdar News reached out to an exclusive military source embedded with the SAA’s Tiger Forces to learn more. Surprisingly, the source insisted that the SAA had not lost a single armored vehicle near Al-Mayadeen on Thursday and accused Amaq Agency of shameless lies.
The source believed that the above images were of a SAA tank seized by ISIS in the area on October 25. He added that the tank was not even a T-90 version but rather an upgraded T-72 tank.
In conclusion, ISIS seemingly blew up its own tank to boast a rare victory for propaganda purposes. Although mere speculation, the modified T-72 tank was likely useless due to technical malfunction which probably led to its capture in the first place.
Amaq Agency tends to be accurate when reporting ISIS gains on the battlefield but has always refused to cover any territorial losses suffered by the self-proclaimed caliphate. In recent months, claims of casualties upon forces opposed to ISIS have begun to be vastly exaggerated, in turn reducing the outlet’s credibility.