Pictures have been released on pro-government social media showing mechanized units of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) being thrown into battle against ISIS militants in western Qalamoun.
The pictures show one semi-modernized T-55MV main battle tank and a Shilka self-propelled anti-aircraft gun (SPAAG) being used to engage ISIS strong-points littered throughout the rugged terrain of the western Qalamoun countryside.
Though it is generally impractical to deploy mechanized equipment in mountain fighting, years of experience for pro-government forces – in which they have observed and adapted to the demands of the Syrian War – shows that such weapons can be deployed in such terrain given the right circumstances.
These circumstances generally revolve around using tanks and other mechanized weapons in the fire support role to lock-down hilltops which have been secured by small teams of storming troops.
In this capacity tanks and other cannon-armed mechanized platforms act as mobile artillery for advances against enemy forces in valley areas below the established high-ground and as a means to suppress enemy fire support weapons on opposing hilltops.