Rebels with damaged tank.
Rebels with damaged tank. Reuters

A former senior Syria Army officer estimates in a report that the Syrian Army has lost 6% of its armored vehicles in the ongoing civil war.

The former staff officer, Hosni Kurdi, 61, retired from military service in 1994 and has since served as a political consultant in the Gulf states. He has issued a detailed report that relies on information from sources within the Syrian military as well as western research.

The report estimates that about 600 Syrian tanks and APCs have been destroyed by rebels since the fighting began. This is about 6% of Syria's armored vehicles, which include about 5,775 tanks -- including ones that are in storage or unserviceable – and about 5,000 vehicles that are not tanks.

While the Syrian army says about 4,000 of its men have been killed in the fighting, Kurdi's report says the true numbers are 8,763 killed and 21,357 wounded, as of early July. It adds that about 18,000 defectors from the military have joined rebel forces, and not 30,000 as rebels have claimed.

The fact that rebels have been armed with advanced anti-tank weapons, while the Syrian army is using the T-62 tank as its main weapon against the rebels, means that the entire T-62 tank array will be wiped out or put out of use in a few months' time, the report determines. The Syrian military is also suffering from a severe shortage in tank crews, it says.