T-72s are already impervious to small arms fire such as machine guns. They have already been able to make armour packages that are resistant to RPGs (See T-72 Mahmia, aka T-72 Adra). As for shells (from other tanks, field guns, etc), that’s actually a good question. The Syrian Arab Army’s upgraded tanks (and i’m talking about armour packages; not cages which are more likely for ammo and equipment storage) only fight in Damascus, a heavily urbanised area. As a result, the rebels can’t really field any type of guns (the rebels in Damascus also don’t have tanks, to my knowledge), so resisting enemy shells is a non-issue.
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In one of Yuri's first major sales, he procures hundreds of surplus M16A2 rifles left in Lebanon by American peacekeepers, which he sells to the leader of a Lebanese Maronite militia (probably the real-life Phalange) in a joint deal with a corrupt American military officer named Lieutenant Colonel Southern (a reference to Lt. Colonel Oliver North, who in real life helped sell American-made weaponry "under the table" to proxy forces). While the M16A2 was introduced in the time era, it was not adopted or fielded until some time later, so the pile should be M16A1s .