A video submission shows French artillery hammering ISIS positions in Syria from Iraq in 2019. The French use the highly accurate CAESAR 155mm self-propelled 6X6 wheeled howitzer. Multiple CAESAR were deployed to Iraq on the border with Syria from 8 November 2018 to April 2019 to support the Syrian Democratic Forces in the Battle of Baghuz Fawqani, the ultimately successful operation to capture the final town held by the Islamic State group. They deployed to Firebase Saham, a base freshly constructed by the U.S. Army to provide fire support during the battle, especially during cloudy days when U.S. aircraft could not see to conduct airstrikes.
The CAESAR (CAmion Équipé d’un Système d’ARtillerie or Truck equipped with an artillery system) is a French self-propelled 155 mm/52-calibre gun-howitzer, installed on a 6X6 truck chassis. Examples built for the French Army use a Renault Sherpa 10 chassis, examples built for export utilize the 6×6 Unimog U2450L chassis. The CAESAR platform was developed by the former GIAT Industries (now known as Nexter) and is operated by the French, Indonesian, Saudi Arabian, and Thai militaries. It artillery system holds 18 rounds and is usually operated by a five-man crew, but can be operated by as few as three trained troops. It has a firing range of 42 km using standard shells, and more than 50 km using rocket assisted shells.
Nexter is developing an armored cab for the CAESAR in response to demand for more protection for the crew. The additional armor will protect against IEDs and roadside bombs, anti-vehicle mines, and 155 mm shells landing as close as five meters (16 feet) away from the vehicle. It can be added to the cabs of existing CAESARs. Heavier armor will increase its weight by 400 kg (880 pounds) and raise the price by 4-5 percent. In 2015, Nexter has unveiled the Caesar 8×8 with high level of mobility ensured by a modified Tatra T-815 8×8 chassis. The 8×8 Caesar being shown is fitted with a standard unarmoured forward control four-person cab, but one of the options is a fully armour protected cab. Gross vehicle weight would depend on the level of armour protection, but is about 30 tonnes. It is powered by a 410 hp diesel engine.