The Turkish military has deployed more than ten M60T battle tanks and several armored vehicles in the southern province of Kilis along the border with Syria, the Syrian Enab Baladi news outlet reported on December 27 citing Turkish sources.
The Israel Military Industries (IMI) upgraded hundreds of Turkey’s old M60A3 battle tanks into the M60T Sabra Mk II standard in the period between 2001 and 2008. The upgrade features a new 120 mm smoothbore gun, electric stabilization system, new fire control system and new armor package.
Despite of this deep modernization, the M60T failed during Operation Euphrates Shield in northern Syria in 2016. After this, the battle tanks went through another upgrade, this time by the Turkish ASELSAN company. The second upgrade added a laser warning system and a remotely controlled weapon station armed with a heavy machine gun or a grenade launcher.
The deployment of battle tanks in Kilis is a part of the ongoing Turkish military buildup around northeastern Syria. Turkey and its Syrian proxies are planning to launch a military operation against Kurdish forces there very soon, according to several reports.