Sunday, 27 July 2014

Islamic State captures large swathes of heavy armament at Division 17 and Regiment 121

By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

After two succesful operations by the Islamic State last week, the regime's footgrip in Nothern Syria weakened even further, losing two bases of vital importance. Division 17 located near Raqqa and Regiment 121 located near Al-Hasakah both fell to Islamic State. The capture of these two bases were conducted in quick succession to each other.

The HQ of Division 17 and Regiment 121, an artillery and ammuntion depot, both contained huge amounts of weaponry and munitions, enabling the Islamic State to further intensify their attacks on nearby government bases and the various groups opposed to them in Northern Syria. The most important weaponry captured are obviously the 130mm M-46 field guns and 122mm BM-21 Grads MRLs, a quantum leap forward in Northern Syria.

This is an approximate guess of the captured weapons and ammunition featured in the videos and photo reports of the Division 17 and Regiment 121, the real figures are believed to be much higher. Small arms are not included in this list due to the small quantities captured. All weaponry and ammunition was captured at Regiment 121 unless indictated.


- 270,000 rounds of 7.62x39 ammunition
- 106 rounds of 100mm ammunition [For T-55]
- 22 rounds of 122mm ammunition [For D-30]
- 510 rounds of 122mm rocket ammunition [For BM-21]
- 43 rounds of 130mm ammunition [For M-46]
- 138 boxes containing 122mm or 130mm ammunition
- 205 boxes containing unidentified explosives
- 950 boxes containing shaped charges
- 3 9M131 Metis-M ATGMs
- 1 9M14M Malyutka ATGM
- 2 HJ-73C ATGMs [Division 17]
- 1 1PBN86VI thermal sight [For Metis-M ATGM]


- 10 122mm BM-21 multiple rocket launchers
- 15 130mm M-46 field-guns


- 8 T-55As [5 at Division 17, 3 at Regiment 121]
- 1 BMP-1 [Division 17]
- 1 BRDM-2 [Division 17]
- 2 MAZ-6317s
- 3 Ural-4320s
- 2 ZiL-130s
- 11 ZiL-131s
- 3 V-3S's
- 8 Tatra 148s
- 1 UAZ-469
- 1 GAZ-46
- 11 GAZ-66s
- 1 GAZ Sobol
- 1 Land Rover
- 1 loader
- 1 tractor
- 1 bus
- 13 unidentified trucks
- 4 fuel trucks
- 2 cars 

Below, an overview of some of the weapons captured:

T-55As, of which at least five were captured at Division 17, a BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicle and a BRDM-2RKh radiological-chemical reconnaissance vehicle. Three more T-55s were captured at Division 17.

Two of the at least three T-55As captured at Regiment 121. The first example is seen towed by a Belarusian MAZ-6317.

130mm M-46s field guns, at least fifteen of which were captured along with associated ammunition and towing trucks.

BM-21s, at least ten of which were captured. Some BM-21s are showing burn marks, indicating heavy usage prior to their capture.

Two Chinese HJ-73Cs and a single Soviet 9M14 Malyutka ATGMs that were captured at Division 17.

Three 9K115-2 Metis-M anti-tank missile systems that were captured at Regiment 121. Three 9M131 anti-tank missiles together with another box showing '1ПН86ВИ' or 1PBN86VI, the thermal sight used with the launcher, can be seen below. This indicates the Islamic State not only captured the missiles, but also the 9P151 launchers required to operate the missile.

Various trucks and jeeps, apart from the MAZ-6317s and GAZ-66s most of them in derilict condition. Also captured were Soviet Ural-4320, ZiL-130s, ZiL-131s, ZiL-157s and UAZ-469s, Belarusian MAZ-6317s, Czechoslovak Praga V3S's and Tatra 148s amongst others.

Division 17:

Regiment 121:

Ammunion and small arms captured at Division 17:

As one of the main weapon depots in the al-Hasakah Governorate, Regiment 121 also held various other munitions in addition to those used by the resident 130mm M-46 field-guns and 122mm BM-21 multiple rocket launcher.

PG-7V rocket propelled grenades for the RPG-7:

Crates containing 122mm rockets for the BM-21 multiple rocket launcher:

Boxes full of shaped charges:

Some of the small arms and (empty) AK(M) magazines also captured:

Much of the ammunition was quickly loaded onto Daewoo Novus and KrAZ-6322 trucks brought in from Iraq, likely for immediate distribution among units located throughout Islamic State-held territory.

A translation of a list of the weapons and ammunition stored in one of the depots of Regiment 121, once again indicating the sheer size of the arms haul:

- Sixty-two automatic rifles [AK(M)s]
- Eight Polish rifles [Mosin-Nagants]
- Two Degtyaryov machine guns [RPDs]
- Three B-10 recoilless rifle
- One Austrian sniper rifle [Steyr SSG 69]
- Forty attack grenades
- One-hundred and twenty defensive grenades
- One sniper rifle scope
- Three pptical devices
- Twenty boxes of rifle accessories
- Seventy-five NATO Belgian bullets
- Two-hundred and sixty-four high explosive incendiary rounds
- Fifteen armour piercing bullets
- Twelve smoke gun rounds
- Thirty-six illumination rounds
- Fifteen RPG grenades

Special thanks to MENA_Conflict.

Recommended Articles:

Islamic State captures Brigade 93 in largest heavy-arms haul of Syrian Civil War
Vehicles and equipment captured, operated and destroyed by the Islamic State inside Syria


  1. They lost bases, but what about the troops? There should be thousands? What happened to them? Also if anybody can provide any links to up to date situation map / events list on the war in Syria that would be most welcome.

    1. Take a look at this.

    2. Check this one: it's the wikipedia map of the conflict, updated daily.

      The IS actually is reported to have retreated from ther Artillery Base, at this point it's unclear if the items captured were actually already all moved away or some of them has been lost/disabled in Air bombing by Governatives.

      And it appears that the Army made collaborations with Kurdish YPG to deal with the IS in the North:

    3. the Army and YPG collaboration was made on Kawkab Artillery base.. which separated dozen Kilometers from 121 base. and also reported by locals the total 'cannons' was 70 at least

    4. Umar Shishani claimed the capture of fifty howitzers and twenty Grads, which is what you would find in an artillery regiment at full strength.

    5. I was talking of the whole frontline in north. Kurdish has already shown to be able to ally with the best side that they believe at the moment make more safe their civilian area (and with a good deal of reasons...)
      Btw: this is a map of 25 July of the area.

    6. Hi. Thanks for the latest map and replies. Im the "OP". Anyways, looking at this last map, it is clear that Syria and Iraq need to have some serious cooperation and a deal which allows Syrian forces to cross into Iraq in their Fight with IS. And drive these animals to the desert. Otherwise as you see from the map the situation is unbearable, with IS controlling bunch of urban centers within kilometers (or only 100's of meters) of Syrian border where to launch attacks with impunity at the Syrian bases / checkpoints.

  2. Why wouldnt Syrian Air force bomb the left behind munitions to deny the enemy them and also possibly kill many in the process. might also boost moral of regime forces

    1. A lack of communication. Since some of the bases also house hardened munition depots, destroying them would require a strike with guided missiles or bombs, making matters more complicated.

  3. I would think that even a sub par commander would have prepared most munitions for destruction in event of a retreat from the base. at least spike the howitzers to make them unavailable, throw sand which is plentiful in the desert into the engines of all the vehicles to render them useless, take firing pins from all weapons. as bad as Syrian regime is the ISIS is worse and best outcome appears to be a Regime victory

  4. So, engine can't be cleaned or the firing pin can't be replaced? How dumb do you think Islamic State is? They used DIY Drone to Recon.

  5. start and engine with sand in it and listen as the inside of the engine block is destroyed. Make them work for it. of course they can repair them but that takes time and $$$ and keeps the equipment off the battlefield. also keeps those that are repairing them off the battlefield. diy drones are no big deal. You can order kits online for very little $$$

  6. Video about the preparation and attck on the base: