Syrian rebels have captured numerous armored vehicles since late May. In some cases, rebels may have pulled anti-aircraft guns out of armored 'Shilka' vehicles and mounted them on pickup trucks, favoring mobility and ease of use over armor. There have, however, been cases of rebels assaulting fortified regime positions with captured tanks. This trend has increased in recent weeks as rebels in northern Aleppo shelled the Mengh Military Airport with captured tanks in early August. Most recently, Suqour al-Sham used a tank to shell a regime position in the Ariha area on August 8.
As the rebels capture more military hardware and are able to train without fear of regime attack in the northern safe zones, they will learn to operationalize heavy weaponry, moving toward a combined arms force. This may prove to be a decisive development allowing the rebels to march on Damascus should they consolidate control of the northern cities.