Thursday, August 27, 2015

Russia rearms Syrian government

(Latakia) The civil war, come rebellion, come religious take over, come bun fight inside Syria has been going on for a few years. The Syrian government, like most Arabic nations, had a huge stockpile of weapons when this all kicked off, but attrition has seen those stocks drop down. However, the Assad regime doesn't have to worry about replenishing its armoury, as the Russians, just like they did in 1973, have no problem in rearming their only client state in the Middle East. Which is why the other day the Russian landing ship Nikolay Filchenkov was seen loaded for bear traversing the Bosphorus.

Unlike its previous sojourns, where the top deck has been clear, this time, the Russians had parked a number of vehicles, primarily trucks, but also under canvas a number of BTR-82As. Now, as the Alligator-class landing ship can carry 20 tanks or 40 APCs below decks, it makes you wonder just what the ship was carrying. Anyway, it appears that previous weapons shipments to Syria have been put to immediate use as the rebels decided to launch an attack on the government (and Russian) stronghold of Latakia (the home area of the Assad dynasty).

Well, film clips have been released of the Government fightback, including coverage of the BTR-82A, a further development of the BTR-80 but sporting additional protection from landmines and small arms fire. But while its ability to withstand anti-armour missiles will no doubt be very weak, its 30mm cannon, which has been mated with a TKN-4GA day/night fire control system, will come in very handy for suppressive fire, as the video shows.