By Omer Koparan and Selen Temizer
AZAZ, Syria (AA) – The Free Syrian Army (FSA) has manufactured the first armored personnel carrier in the Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch areas in northwestern Syria.
Inspired by Turkish armored vehicles, Al-Fahd carrier was the fruit of FSA effort in the field of defense industries in the wake of Turkey's Euphrates Shield operation in 2017.
The 4x4 vehicle turns at a speed of 80 km/hour on flat land and 30 km/hour through mountainous terrain, according to a source with the FSA-affiliated Al-Hamza division.
The personnel carrier has a length of 6 meters, height of 3 m and width of 1.75 m.
It is equipped with a hydraulic rear door, seven side openings for shooting, bullet-proof glass, a shield against light and heavy landmines and a steel mesh for protection against RPG shells, the source said.
It is also equipped with an automatic machinegun, a high-definition night vision screen and an advanced communication system.
The FSA carrier can take 10 soldiers, including a five-person crew.
Since 2016, Turkey’s Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch operations in northwestern Syria have liberated the region -- including Al-Bab, Afrin, and Azaz -- from YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists, making it possible for Syrians who fled violence there to return home.
Syria is locked in a devastating conflict since early 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected brutality.
Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million displaced, according to UN figures.