BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:30 P.M.) – Among the great number of Syrian Army battle tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, self-propelled artillery guns, armed trucks and assault troops arriving at Damascus for an incoming government offensive against militant groups in the East Ghouta region is also some of the largest mortar pieces in contemporary service with any army in the world.
Photo evidence (shown above) has emerged showing a Soviet-built M240 mortar piece in the service of the Syrian Army being transported on the back of a truck to eastern Damascus.
The mortar (unlikely to be the only one of its kind heading to the Syrian capital) is to provide heavy support fire for an upcoming Syrian Army operation in East Ghouta.
As the designation suggests the weapon bears a caliber of 240-mm; it can hurl a shell ten kilometers and can sustain a rate of fire of one round per minute.
Having been tested in battles since the 1970s, the mortar has earned a reputation for reliability, accuracy and great destructive power (accomplishing what six-inch howitzers fail to do in some cases).
Furthermore, in addition to being able to fire standard high-explosive shells, the M240 can also deliver cluster munitions.