SU-30SM, SU-35S, and SU-34 flying in formation - Sputnik International, 1920
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Watch Syrian Special Forces, Russian Air Power Conduct Massive Nighttime Drills

© Photo : Screenshot of Russian Defense Ministry videoSyrian and Russian troops engage in large-scale night-time drills in Hama, Syria. August 2023.
Syrian and Russian troops engage in large-scale night-time drills in Hama, Syria. August 2023. - Sputnik International, 1920, 03.08.2023
The first-of-their-kind exercises come amid escalating regional tensions and the scaling up of the illegal US military presence in and around Syria, whose government Washington has failed to sanction into submission after a decade-long CIA dirty war.
Russian Aerospace Forces warplanes and helicopters and Syrian Special Forces troops have completed large-scale nighttime drills in the western-central Syrian province of Hama.
Under the exercise scenario, enemy forces attacked Syrian forces and managed to take over a civilian settlement. Consequently, Syrian commandos backed by Russian air power were tasked with taking back the settlement in a major coordinated nighttime operation involving large numbers of troops, heliborne commandos, aircraft, artillery and missile strikes.
Footage published by Russia's Defense Ministry shows Russian Su-35 fighter jets and Su-24 tactical bombers aircraft taking off from the Khmeimim Airbase in Latakia, western Syria, and conducting large-scale mock bombardments of enemy positions, while Syrian forces did the same using ground-based tactical missiles and massed Grad rocket artillery. Russian Ka-52 attack helicopters joined the operations.
Syrian commandos backed by tanks and entrenchment-clearing vehicles then speedily maneuvered to the target area in armored personnel carriers, while paratroopers deployed from aboard Mil Mi-8AMTSh helicopters, some by parachute at altitudes of 1,500-3,000 meters, others by fast-roping down to the ground as choppers hovered close to the ground.
Syrian forces involved in the exercises included personnel from the 25th Special Mission Forces Division, better known as the Tiger Forces – the elite brigade-sized formation created in 2013 and used extensively in Syria’s battles against foreign-funded and armed jihadists and rebel groups across the country over the past decade.
Russian and Syrian commanders were said to have expressed satisfaction with the high level of coordination between the two countries’ forces during the drills.
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Anti-Terror Allies

Russia is one of Syria’s major allies in the battle against terrorism, and, together with Hezbollah fighters from Lebanon and IRGC Quds Force advisors from Iran, played a crucial role in the mid-to-late 2010s battle by Syrian forces to prevent their country from collapsing as it was besieged by the US and powerful regional actors.
This spring, Syria began the speedy normalization of relations with most of its neighbors and returned triumphantly to the Arab League, an organization it was suspended from in 2011 amid the push to overthrow President Bashar Assad. Damascus is also negotiating a Russia and Iran-brokered normalization of ties with Turkiye.
The United States, which controls about a third of the country east of the Euphrates River together with local Kurdish allies, has refused to end its illegal occupation of Syria, citing the purported threat of the reemergence of Daesh (ISIS),* the terror militant group which once occupied large swathes of western Iraq and eastern Syria, and threatened to establish a regional ‘caliphate’. Syria and its allies have rejected Washington’s reasoning, and accused the US of secretly assisting the terrorist group. The US has denied these allegations.
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* A terror group outlawed in Russia and many other countries.
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