The Syrian Armed Forces continues to actively use the Russian BTR-82 and BTR-80 armored fighting vehicles, as well as the Vystrel armored vehicles.
The Syrian Army continues to actively use the BTR-80 and BTR-82 armored fighting vehicles, as well as the Vystrel armored vehicles, supplied by Russia, in the fighting. When first photos of this military hardware were published online, some skeptical military experts predicted that very soon it will be lost because Syrian terrorists have too many anti-tank weapons.
However, the BTR-80s are used in Syria already for the third year, while the BTR-82s and the Vystrel armored vehicles – for almost a year, and no data on losses have still been reported.
Reportedly, Syrian soldiers, who earlier exploited the old Soviet BTR-60s, the Czechoslovak OT-64s and BRDM-2s, appreciate fighting qualities of the Russian light armored vehicles. Russian military hardware is notable for unpretentiousness in operation; it is easy-to-learn, simple and reliable. The BTR-82 has a high for its class firepower – it is armed with a 30-mm gun, which is capable to hit enemy manpower at a distance up to 4 km, and infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers – at a distance up to 2 km.
There is the only gripe – the Syrian Armed Forces have a very small amount of this military hardware. While there are more than three tens of the BTR-80s in Syria, the Vystrel armored vehicles can be found on the territory of the country much less often.
I suppose they are also faster and cheaper to operate then tracked vehicles, which is only another reason for popularity.