Echo Six: Black Ops 5 - Strikeforce Syria
arm, and he was unable to prevent himself from screaming in agony.
    "Get out, Jew, and wave to your friends. Let them know the area is clear. Go!"
    Hafiz gave him a hard push, and he staggered out of the door and into the courtyard. The Syrians had a multi-barreled anti-aircraft gun deployed in the courtyard, a Russian ZSU-23-4, mounted on a tracked mobile launcher. Mounting four 23mm autocannons, the weapon was formidable against low-flying aircraft. But against an unarmored civilian truck, it would tear it to strips of shredded metal. Beckerman staggered to the front gates, and a soldier pushed him out into the street. He staggered again, lost his balance, and fell to the ground. He briefly lost consciousness, and when he came to, realized he must have hit his head on the tarmac. He climbed back to his feet and had to make an effort to steady himself and stand upright. He heard the roar of an engine and glanced behind him. One of the sentries had emerged to cover him with his assault rifle. He was weary, in agony, and knew he had nothing left to save, except his soul. He watched as a battered wrecking truck roared around the corner and saw a soldier staring out through the windshield. It was Talley. He took a last glance behind him, and then walked out into the center of the street. He used the last of his strength to wave his arms frantically and screamed out a warning.
    "It's a trap! They're waiting for you with an anti-aircraft gun. You have to turn back. If you…"
    The burst of gunfire smashed into him, and he was dead when he hit the dusty road surface.

Chapter Four

    Sheikh Najjar – The Third Day
    Saturday 10 th May

    "It's Beckerman!" Rovere shouted.
    "I see him."
    Something's wrong, badly wrong. The Israeli looks as if he's been wounded. Or tortured!
    He was shouting a warning, and then through the open window, he heard a single word. ‘Trap’. And then Beckerman went down in a hail of gunfire from an assault rifle.
    "Don't stop, Rovere! Keep going. They're waiting for us."
    "What about Beckerman?"
    "Forget him. He's dead, just get us out of here!"
    The Italian was about to ram the gates, but he swung the wheel back over, and the truck bounced on worn springs as it altered course to head away.

    * * *

    The commander of the ZSU knew they’d have to move fast, and he’d instructed the crew to keep the engine idling. When the guards on the gate warned that the target was turning away, he ordered them to advance. The sentries failed to open the gates in time, but the ZSU driver ignored them, and smashed through, chewing up one of the sentries under the grinding steel tracks. The vehicle emerged onto the street, flinging aside a cascade of broken timbers and steel. One of the sentries failed to jump out of the way in time. The gun commander heard a shrill scream that was abruptly cut off, as the man was chewed up by the racing steel tracks.
    Too bad!
    He looked to his left and smiled. The enemy truck was moving away at high speed, and the street was a cul-de-sac. He had them.
    "Driver, advance. When they pass the bend, they will see the end of the road is blocked, and they’ll be forced to stop. As soon as the target is stationary, open fire and kill them."
    "Yes, Sir," the man answered enthusiastically. Until now, they'd only used their cannon against civilian targets, never against a foreign enemy. Today, they would become heroes.

    * * *

    They clung on as Rovere managed to get the truck back on an even keel. He kept the accelerator pedal pressed down hard as they swerved into the bend, and once more the unwieldy breakdown truck threatened to topple over. But he righted it and kept on until he saw the end of the street. Rovere cursed.
    "It's a fucking dead end! What you want me to do?"
    Talley thought hard. The ZSU was behind them and would be up with them soon, of that there was no doubt. Together with the supporting infantry that always accompanied an anti-aircraft artillery unit, and any number of

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