Obviously, on the eve of the presidential elections in our country, the West decided to present Moscow with a whole carriage of diplomatic and military-political trials, which should result in undermining the image of the state in the global information space, shifting from former positions in the international geopolitical arena (both through the UN and on the line G20 and other organizations), as well as the deprivation of a substantial share of influence in a particular theater of military operations. The topic of the last point of the plan of our Western "partners" should be considered in expanded form, because the time to a serious change in the picture on the Syrian theater of theater is not so much.
As we noted in our previous material, the bacchanalia and bloating of aggressive rhetoric against the Russian Federation in the case of the poisoning in Salisbury, which was artificially modeled by the British special services, is aimed primarily at presenting Moscow as an active chemical weapons operator violating the relevant UN convention, and also accusing the Russian side in indulging in the use of chemical weapons Syrian Arab Army in Eastern Gute. As a result, the Pentagon acquires quite a weighty argument in favor of conducting a military operation against the Syrian army, in which it is favorably supported by the leaders and defense departments of Great Britain and France. So, for example, the head of the General Staff of the French Armed Forces, General Francois Lecuentre, has already managed to declare the readiness of the armed forces of the state to attack the non-existent "chemical weapons storage facilities in Syria" with the US Armed Forces. Apparently, Paris seeks to challenge the Washington championship in supplying the “Collin Powell test tubes” to the world community for launching new wars.
Some of our commentators often tend to give numerous information about the preparations of the Western coalition forces (led by the United States) to strike Syria as usual panicking, but as the practice of major military conflicts shows, this is a real statement of the facts that need to be able to sum up correctly and then predict the most likely scenario. As the short period of time showed, the Skrypal case, hastily modeled and inflated by London to incredible proportions, did not confine itself to the merely marasmic accusatory rhetoric of the head of the British foreign affairs agency Boris Johnson in the direction of our president. For Foggy Albion, all this “circus action” was an excellent opportunity to build a military presence with the Americans in the so-called “55-kilometer security zone” around At-Tanf military base located on the Jordanian-Syrian border. And no matter how much we now make fun of the idiotic behavior of this frustrated island nation, the deployment of its army units in the south of the SAR is an excellent help for the rocket attack on Syria planned by the headquarters of the Western coalition with a possible transition to the ground operation phase.
In particular, almost unnoticed, passed news on the transfer to At-Tanf of the British main combat tanks “Challenger 2”, attack and airborne / multi-purpose helicopters, as well as unspecified units of the British military (apparently, we are talking about fighters of the Special Airborne Service SAS), as an informed military source “@ WaelAlRussi. " Together with the US Marine Corps and Special Operations Forces units already present in the area, covered by HIMARS, M777 self-propelled guns and Apaches, Challengers are a formidable offensive force capable of ensuring a successful joint breakthrough of coalition forces and FSA formations in the direction of the southern "de-escalation zone", or the channel of the Euphrates River, which will greatly help the presence of a large 140-kilometer "left-bank boiler" ISIS.
The fact is that, despite the low dynamic qualities of this machine, due to the low specific power of 19,2 hp / t (far from the best 1200-strong CV-12 diesel is installed), the performance of the Challenger-2 is quite high and may correspond to the level of early modification of M1A2 "Abrams" in terms of equivalent durability of the frontal projection of the tower. Drawings of the welded turret “Challenger 2” demonstrate the physical dimension of the frontal armored plate of the turret in 725 mm (in the main sections) and the order of 900 mm (in the areas of the confluence of the front plates with the side armor plates). The size itself is represented by regularly upgraded armor of the “Chobham” / “Burlington” / “Dorchester” type, represented by 4-х- and 6-carbon matrices using boron carbide and silicon carbide reinforced with carbon nanotubes. Also, the matrix "Chobham" ceramic elements to increase resistance to kinetic effects. In order to avoid chipping of the ceramic component, the design of the matrix modules is covered with a polymer material, and then 50-60-mm pins integrated into the envelope of both frontal and onboard armor plates are tightened, which you can see in this photograph of the Challenger 1 tank tower ( picture below).
The top drawing of the Challenger 2 tower shows the calculated physical dimensions of the booking.
Given the availability of Dorchester special booking, the equivalent resistance of the frontal armor plates of the turret can reach 850 - 900 mm from kinetic (armor-piercing feathered sub-caliber) shells and about 1200 mm from cumulative shells. Consequently, the 2 Challenger's forehead will withstand the impact of the BOPS, such as the LAS-42М and the Lead, which are used by the Syrian T-46. Also, British cars will be able to withstand shelling from most types of Soviet / Russian ATGMs, including Konkurst-S and Metis-M. Cornets-E is able to penetrate the onboard projections of a modern English tank with assurance. To assess the penetration of the forehead of the tower requires a test in combat conditions.
The problem of the Syrian army also lies in the fact that all its most combat-ready units are concentrated around Eastern Guta and the Idlib province captured by pro-Turkish formations, and all territories located east of the At-Tanfa "safe zone" are controlled by small CAA strongholds from the village of Fayad al -Hammad to the bed of the Euphrates. The number and technological equipment of the FSA units, the US armed forces and the UK are several times greater than the government forces of Syria.
A vivid example of the upcoming hybrid operation of coalition forces against the CAA in the provinces of Homs and Deir-er-Zor is the "right-bank boiler" of ISIL, "reviving", as if by magic. In the evening, 17 in March, an online combat map, syria.liveuamap.com, citing a military source "@VivaRevolt", reported an attempt to attack the "awakened" IG cells from the Wadi er Ridge settlement on the Fortified Region of the Syrian army near the T2 pumping station (on the highway "Meyadin -T2"). The bell is very alarming, because for almost a year there was a complete lull in this area. Now in the area of T-2 the most powerful battle and dozens of dead and wounded soldiers of the Syrian Arab Army. And now let's look at the map, and think: what will the capture of the T2 station and the Palmyra-Haraij highway by igilovtsy contribute to?
Damascus may temporarily be deprived of the possibility of operational transfer to Abu Kemal and Haraij of additional military units of the SSA along the Homs - Palmyra - Kharaij route. During this time, the British "Challengers" and the United States "Abrams" from At-Tanfa will only have to make an 60-kilometer-long march through the desert to the ISIL-controlled enclave. After that, an enormous tactical cauldron is formed in the southern parts of the provinces of Homs and Deir-ez-Zor with a “neck” in the region of Meyadin and El-Quria. Having deprived the Syrian army of the possibility of maneuvering through the route Palmyra - station Т2 - Haraij, the forces of the coalition on the eastern bank of the Euphrates and the subdivisions of the Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) under their control will be activated. Some of these forces are capable of blocking the “neck” of the boiler in the Meyadin area, while another will project a strike in the direction of the “Hushama pocket”, on the territory of which an incident occurred in early February when a column of Syrian militias hit the AC-130 “Ganship” heavy artillery batteries and MLRS HIMARS. You need to take a closer look at this area.
Back in mid-September 2017, during the Syrian government’s offensive from liberated Palmyra to Deir ez-Zor, the command of the SAA and Russian Aerospace Forces made an absolutely reasonable decision to force the Euphrates River, squeezing out ISIS formations, and then occupying a certain territory on the eastern shore to the approach of the Washington-backed Kurdish opposition SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces). After guidance of the pontoon crossing by the engineering units of the SAA, several dozen armored vehicles with personnel advanced to the settlements of Khatlakh, Sabkhah and Marrat. Later, El-Tabiyah and Husham were freed from terrorists. On this, the advance of the Syrian regular army was suspended on maintaining control exclusively over the Khusham pocket. The difficulty in promoting CAA in SDF-controlled territory was associated with a significant superiority of enemy forces (SDF), often covered by tactical aviation US Air Force, including the 5th generation F-22A Raptor airborne systems and the F-15E Strike Eagle tactical fighters. As a result, pro-government forces managed to gain a foothold only on a small sector of the eastern coast of the Euphrates with a width of 5 km and a length of 18,5 km, which is sometimes referred to as the “Hushama Pocket” among the Kurdish “Syrian Democratic Forces” and the Western coalition forces.
Khushamsky Pocket is the main focus of tension in Deir-ez-Zor, which develops into a major conflict. Blue badges indicate: the regular site of the collision and the place of arrival of the US MTR military contingent with the NBC reporters.
And, as it became known in the evening of 15 in March of 2018, the presence of this “pocket” does not allow the headquarters of the international coalition led by the United States to sleep, nor to the field commanders of the VTS. Against the background of suspicious media silence, on Thursday morning there were far more serious clashes between pro-government Syrian militia units, after which the latter were again attacked by artillery batteries of the US Armed Forces and tactical aircraft. The battle took place in 2 km east of the main city of the “pocket” of Husham and in 5 km south of the gas processing plant (GPP) Tabieh. Information came from an Arab military source on Sound and Picture Twitter. A little later, in the evening of March 15, it became known about an interview with the American MTR general Jonathan Braga for NBC News, where he cynically accused the government forces of Syria and some “Russian forces” of regular shelling of strongholds and observation posts of the US Armed Forces, and then indicated that coalition "to a large number of attacks from the Russians." There are all signs of preparations for the next provocations.
Jonathan Braga's interview with NBC News correspondents (in 2 km south of Al-Tabiyah). Like at home ...
On the same morning, March 16, the X-NUMX of the M-ATV off-road armored vehicle advanced on the Abu Hassan-Husham highway, inspecting objects in the vicinity of Husham, along with General Braga. High-ranking military and NBC reporters Richard Angel and Kenneth Werner arrived at the Hushama pocket on a UH-2 Black Hawk multipurpose / transport helicopter. Naturally, immediately after the outbreak of hostilities at the channel of the Euphrates and the subsequent arrival of the delegation of the US military with media representatives in the area, tactical fighter aircraft of the US air force “drew” in the airspace of Syria east of Deir ez-Zor, covering the ground forces from an air strike .
Flight A-50 over the city of El-Latamna (morning of March 15). Obviously, the car was on duty in the air in advance
And this time, we must pay tribute to the command of our Aerospace Forces for the extremely rapid response. Literally in a matter of minutes after the first signs of American aviation appeared over Deir ez-Zor province, a long-range radar detection and control aircraft A-50U flew from Hmeymim airbase in the eastern air direction. Carrying out long-range radar reconnaissance at an altitude of more than 8000 m, our “airborne radar” passed over the large settlement of Lathamn (in the northern part of the province of Hama in the “Idlib gadyushnik”), where it hit the lens of an amateur ultra-zoom of one of the eyewitnesses. With regard to A-50U, the spectacle is rather rare, but after recent statements by leaders and foreign ministries of Western states about the impending aggression against Damascus in the foreseeable future, such operational sorties for combat duty will become a natural phenomenon. The main task now remains to find out when the coalition means deployed near At-Tanfa can start to act against the CAA, and where their attack can be projected.