A militant group, called “Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki” or “Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement” has reportedly captured a sophisticated Russian-made T-90S main battle tank.
The group posted the image of T-90 claiming it was captured on June 9 in battles around the Mallah Farms in Northern Aleppo. The report says this T-90 had been used by the Syrian Arab Army’s Tiger Forces before it was captured by al-Zenki Movement units.
Wikipedia: The T-90 is a third-generation Russian battle tank that entered service in 1993. The tank is a moderate variation of the T-72B and incorporates many features found on the T-80U – it was originally called the T-72BU but was later renamed to T-90. It is the most advanced tank in service with Russian Ground Forces and the Naval Infantry. The T-90 uses a 125 mm 2A46 smoothbore main gun, the 1A45T fire-control system, an upgrated engine, and thermal sights. Standard protective measures include a blend of steel, composite armour, smoke dischargers, Kontakt-5 explosive-reactive armour, laser warning receivers, Nakidka camouflage and the Shtora infrared ATGM jamming system. The EMT-7 electromagnetic pulse (EMP) creator has been used in testing but not fitted to T-90s in active service. It was designed and built by Uralvagonzavod, in Nizhny Tagil, Russia. Since 2011, the Russian armed forces have ceased any further orders for the T-90, and are instead anticipating the development of the T-14 Armata that is expected to enter service in 2016
Video: al-Zenki Movement operating the working T-90:
— abo karam (@abokeram) June 10, 2016
On June 9, the Assad government forces launched attacks in the Mallah area, located North to the strategic Castello road that is the latest militant’s supply line. Initial reports argued that these attacks could be the first stage of preparations for the full-scale offensive in the area of the Aleppo city. The usage of T-90 tanks in the offensive is an argument in support of these statements.
Russia delivered a number of T-90S main battle tanks to the Syrian Armed Forces in late 2015 as part of the ongoing military assistance program to the Syrian government. The most effectiveness units of the Syrian Arab Army as “Tiger Forces” have recieved them. Some of the delivered T-90 were reportedly passed by the Syrian government to Iranian-backed Shia militias, supporting the Syrian Arab Army in Syria:
Meanwhile, the Jaish al-Fatah operation room, mainly Al Nusra and Ahrar ash-Sham militants, continued operations in South Aleppo, and seized the town of Qarrasi, located near the strategic city of Khan Tuman.