Russia airlifts bridging equipment to Syria

Russia has airlifted PMM-2M self-propelled ferry to Syria in an effort to assist government troops to capture the eastern bank of the Euphrates valley from Islamic State militants.

Two of the tracked PMM-2M vehicles were filmed being unloaded from a Russian Aerospace Forces Antonov An-124-100 transport aircraft at Humaymim Air Base in Syria in a video released by the pro-government Free Syria News blog on 24 September. The vehicles were loaded on to heavy equipment transporters.

The PMM-2M is the Russian army’s in-service river-crossing capability and can be used either as standalone self-propelled ferry that can carry loads of up to 42.5 tonnes or combined together to form a pontoon bridge.

The Russian-backed Syrian Arab Army (SAA) was using older PMP bridging equipment when it made its first crossing of the Euphrates near the city of Dayr al-Zawr earlier in September.