One could be forgiven for thinking that the Syrian rebels currently fighting to overthrow the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have spent a little too much time watching "Junkyard Wars."
To wit: the unfortunately named Sham II. (It's a reference associated with a geographical region known as Greater Syria, in case you're wondering.)
Using the chassis of an old car and some 2.5-centimeter metal plating (sporting what looks to be a healthy patina of rust), rebels based in Bishqatin, near Aleppo, constructed a homemade tank.
Perhaps the singular feature of this killing contraption is that its turret-mounted 7.62-millimeter machine gun appears to be controlled by a game console from an old PlayStation.
The driver of the tank steers using information relayed from five externally mounted cameras to a video screen inside. As "The Atlantic" writes, "it kind of looks like a man cave."
Touted by the rebels as "100 percent made in Syria," the tank, which seats two, took a month to design and build and reportedly cost $10,000 (machine gun not included).
Abud, a rebel fighter involved in the project, surmises that the Sham II can resist up to 23-millimeter cannon fire but could not withstand tank fire or a direct hit from a rocket-propelled grenade.
Abud says the Sham II is soon to see action as part of the Saad Benmoaz battalion of the Al-Ansar brigade.
In the understatement of the year, the French news agency AFP reports that the Sham II is a big improvement over its predecessor, which protected the driver but left the rest of the crew exposed.
-- Grant Podelco
Watch a video of the Sham II from Russia's RT TV station: