In the late 1930s, the development and production of the T-34 Tank had revolutionized modern warfare and propelled the embattled Soviet Red Army against Germany’s elite 6th Army during the brutal Battle of Stalingrad in 1943.
Without a doubt, the Soviet T-34 Tank built the framework for the modernization of armored vehicles used by several countries across the world; it would later be replaced by the T-55, T-62, T-72, T-80, T-84, T-90, and the latest T-14 Armata.
The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has benefitted immensely from these Russian manufactured tanks; however, with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) receiving TOW anti-tank missiles, they could no longer use armored vehicles without advanced explosive reactive armor (ERA).
With the Free Syrian Army destroying several outdated tanks; it became time for the Syrian Arab Army to upgrade from the T-55 and T-72 Tanks to the latest Russian T-90 Tank that was armed with the latest ERA and protective shield needed to counter-act the U.S. manufactured TOW missile.
This past week, the Syrian Arab Army’s 4th Mechanized Division showed off their latest military arsenal by putting it to use against the Islamist rebels of Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham and Jabhat Al-Nusra (Syrian Al-Qaeda group) in the Aleppo Governorate’s southern countryside; it did not disappoint.
In a matter of 48 hours, the Syrian Arab Army’s 4th Mechanized Division – in coordination with Hezbollah, Harakat Al-Nujaba (Iraqi paramilitary), and the National Defense Forces (NDF) of Aleppo City – seized 7 villages from the Islamist rebels, including the village of Banes near the strategic town of Tal Al-‘Eiss.
As a result of these recent gains, the Syrian Armed Forces and their allies have surrounded the imperative towns of Khan Touman and Al-Qarassi near the Aleppo-Damascus Highway, leaving the Islamist rebels in a dire situation on the border of northeastern Idlib.