DAMASCUS, SYRIA (10:50 PM) -The Russian Terminator-2 BMPT vehicle which hasn’t entered service in any armed forces in the world was spotted in the eastern countryside of Hama alongside the elite Desert Hawks who are wrapping up their preparations for an offensive aimed at expelling ISIS from the central province.
The vehicle was first seen in Hmeimim Airbase during President Assad’s visit the previous week. According to reports, the Terminator-2 war machine will participate in the fierce battles of Hama’s rugged mountainous terrain and will be operated by Russian service members until Syrian Army units receive adequate training on the weapon system.
The SAA offensive in eastern Hama will be focused on securing the oil pipelines and capturing the ISIL stronghold of Uqayribat. Once captured, ISIS fighters in the area will likely flush out of the province and the adjacent territory north of Palmyra to avoid full encirclement.
Filled with mines, ambushes, fortified encampments, and unmaneuverable geography, the battle for east Hama is far from easy and the terror group is almost certainly unwilling to bulge given the strategic weight of region. Should the Syrian Armed Forces rid the area of ISIL presence, the path to Deir Ezzor and the rest of eastern Syria will be much less dangerous and more militarily feasible as ISIS’s mobility in the desert and its ability to conduct its infamous well-planned desert raids will be permanently paralyzed.
Eastern Hama is the gateway to the oil-rich Euphrates basin.