Daesh Claims First Combat Kill Of A Russian T-90 Tank

Russian-made T-90A allegedly destroyed by Daesh in northwest Syria, January 2017.

Earlier this week, Björn Stritzel, a journalist who covers the conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa for the German newspaper Bild, reported via Twitter that Daesh claimed to have destroyed a Russian T-90A tank near the town of Khanaser in northwest Syria. The claim, which has not been officially confirmed, was made through the release of a Daesh propaganda video which shows what appears to be a T-90A with a fire steadily burning from the commander’s cuppola and machine gun ammunition “cooking off” in the flames. (Video at the link below.)

The tank was alleged to have been struck by an anti-tank guided missile (ATGM), though by which type of missile and the circumstances are as yet unknown.T-90s are equipped with the latest generation of reactive armor and active protection systems.

The vehicle is flying a flag attributed to the Fatima Brigade (Liwa Fatemiyoun), a unit recruited from Afghan Shi’a but trained and equipped by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. The Fatima Brigade was alleged to have been sent to fight in Syria in 2014, although Iran denies this. It is believed that Russia and Iran have equipped non-Syrian loyalist fighters with their latest generation of weapons, including the T-90A.

UPDATE: Twitter user Jonh pointed out that the T-90A is not the same as the newer T-14 Armata. Jonh is correct and the post has been edited to correct the mistake. I regret any confusion. — Shawn Woodford

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Shawn Woodford
Shawn Woodford

Shawn Robert Woodford, Ph.D., is a military historian with nearly two decades of research, writing, and analytical experience on operations, strategy, and national security policy. His work has focused on special operations, unconventional and paramilitary warfare, counterinsurgency, counterterrorism, naval history, quantitative historical analysis, nineteenth and twentieth century military history, and the history of nuclear weapon development. He has a strong research interest in the relationship between politics and strategy in warfare and the epistemology of wargaming and combat modeling.

All views expressed here are his and do not reflect those of any other private or public organization or entity.

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  1. Interesting given your earlier article regarding the 0.5 Millisecond reaction time of the new ARMATA APS. The firer mush have been right next to the ARMATA to have hit it without the APS neutralisng the shot. Any more information on hw this happened?

    • I have seen nothing further yet. Skepticism has been expressed whether the damage inflicted was actually incapacitating. The only evidence available so far is the video and it is not conclusive in itself.

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