Tag Archives: Damascus

DPRK upgraded tanks still in use on Syrian battlefield

by Joost Oliemans and Stijn Mitzer, NK News

As the now almost four-year-long Syrian Civil War continues, the full extent of North Korea’s influence in Syria remains seen every day.

Pyonygang and Damascus’ warm relations have led Syria to make several acquisitions of North Korean weaponry in the past. While the Syrian Civil War rages on, the Assad regime, the Islamic State and other factions continue to use much of this equipment in the conflict.

Perhaps the most notable impact of the DPRK’s arms industry on Syria can be found in Syria’s once enormous tank fleet. Namely, the DPRK upgraded hundreds of Soviet-made T-54 and T-55 tanks for Syria in the late ’70s and early ’80s, with some even seeing use in the 1982 Lebanon War.

Although the entire T-54 fleet (including the examples upgraded by North Korea) was presumably retired years ago, the T-55s certainly were not and nowadays a tank spotted in the northern half of Syria shows marks of the DPRK’s military influence more often than not. The T-54s themselves were stored in depots for most of the civil war, but as more and more armor has been destroyed and shortages grow, an increasing number are being brought back into service. Continue reading DPRK upgraded tanks still in use on Syrian battlefield