"The attack, which targeted militia's units in Ain Talaui, Ain al-Hasan, Ash sharai, was launched by 200 members of Daesh, 50 of whom has been eliminated. During the attack, Daesh used tanks which have become the first [documented] case of use of such weaponry by Daesh terrorists," the militia told Al-Manar broadcaster.
The militia added that they managed to repulse the attack destroying 17 mined cars which militants tried to use to breach the defense.
Earlier media reports suggested that the terrorists have in possession Soviet-era Т-55, Т-62 and Т-72 tanks captured from the Iraqi Army and Libyan militias. And the US-made M1Abrams tanks also supposedly captured from the Iraqi Army.
Russian defense analyst, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Unions of Reserve Officers of Russia's Ministry of Defense (MEGAPIR), retired Major-General Vladimir Bogatyrev told Radio Sputnik that if the reports are true, it is yet another proof of how dangerous the terrorists become with such powerful equipment.
"Т-55, Т-62 and Т-72 tanks are very good vehicles even though they date back to the late 1950s. We can see how reliable our military hardware is but we can also see how dangerous it becomes when it gets into such hands," he told Sputnik.
"Daesh has overrun vast swathes of territory in northern and western Iraq with many equipment storage bases including those of the heavy weaponry. No doubts, they could have done it in Syria as well. However it could have been supplied to them by some vendors who are earning huge money on such operations. It is merely a business for them. But it is a dreadful, disgusting criminal racket," the expert told Sputnik.
Vladimir Bogatyrev also noted that in order to completely eliminate the jihadists, various countries should united their efforts.
"Russia, Iran and Turkey have united to settle the crisis on the territory of Syria. But Daesh (Islamic State) and its base is not only vast territories seized in Syria, but it is also Iraq. And the matters are not that well there. In my opinion, if we could unite efforts with Iraq, Jordan and the US-led coalition, we will be able to solve this crisis relatively quickly. Without it, it might be going on for a long time," he told Sputnik.
Never miss a story again — sign up to our Telegram channel and we'll keep you up to speed!