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Russia speeds tons of heavy artillery and MRLs to Syria for expanded ground combat


After several incidents, in which 130mm shells fired by Syrian rebel groups, particularly the Al-Nusra Front, reached the center of the Russian Khmeimin military enclave outside Latakia, the general staff in Moscow decided to rush heavy artillery reinforcements to Syria. DEBKAfile’s military sources report that Russia has transferred two types of heavy weapons systems by sea and by air to the front near Latakia during the past few days.

First, a body of three battalions of 2S19 Msta-S self-propelled howitzers was deployed at Khmeimin and has already started pounding rebel lines and command centers in the area. This heavy artillery system, capable of firing 152mm bombs at a rapid pace, is a veteran of Russia’s former campaigns against Islamic terrorist groups, especially in the Russian war against Islamic rebels in Chechnya in the 1990s.

The 2S19 Msta-S has a modified chassis of a T-80 tank and a diesel motor of a T-72. It is effective against fortifications


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