The Ministry of Defense of Russia announced on February 8 that Russian troops held a series of joint exercises with armored units of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA).
In a statement, the ministry said the exercises were held in the countryside of Aleppo in Syria’s northern region. Battle tanks of the SAA took part in the exercises.
During the exercises, Russian service members “corrected the mistakes” of Syrian forces as they used their battle tanks. Some parts of the training were repeated several times, which took up to 3 hours.
The Russian Zvezda TV shared footage of the exercises, showing SAA troops maneuvering with T-72 battle tanks and BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles.
Russian officer Grigory Lazotkin who took part in the exercises said SAA troops “are not the same as they were” at the start of the war.
“Today, the combat abilities of these forces are much higher than before … as a result of good training,” RT quoted Lazotkin as saying.
Today, the SAA is facing several challenges from the northwestern region of Greater Idlib, which has become a safe havens for terrorists, to tensions in the northeastern region, instability in the southern region ending with ISIS’ growing threat in the central region.
Russia’s support has been critical for the success of all SAA operations since 2015. This support continues to grow on all levels, despite the ever increasing Western pressure on Syria.
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