According to military experts and analysts, the Russian Special Forces actively participate in military operations in Syria, contributing to elimination of leaders of militants.
A military operation, which was started in Aleppo, was prepared in advance, and Russian military advisers and officers of the Russian Special Forces had a finger in the pie, Russian media reported, citing independent military experts. According to media, this fact is confirmed by numerous actions to eliminate the most notorious leaders of militants’ groups, resulting in appearance of perturbation and perplexity among Syrian jihadists.
Before the offensive of the Syrian Arab Army, accounts of the Syrian opposition in social networks reported about deaths of ten well-known battlefield commanders. Most of them were killed by shots from long-range heavy-caliber sniper rifles. Others became victims of missile attacks of the Russian Aerospace Forces during talks by cell or satellite phones – this indicates the fact of usage of precision-guided munitions.
However, with the beginning of a battle for the eastern districts of Aleppo, this trend continued. Over the past 10 days, it was reported about deaths of Abdul Hamid Haji Ahmad – one of the leaders of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), Saeed Shahabi and Hasema al-Musa – commanders of the Jabhat al-Shamiyah group, Omar Muhammad al-Haji – an emir of the Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki group, leader of the Aleppo’s branch of the Harakat Ahrar al-Sham group, Abu al-Haris, and one of the military leaders of the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (previously known as the Al-Nusra Front) group, Abu al-Mugheerah al-Shishani.
According to Russian media, effective preparatory works of the Russian Special Forces ensured the success of military operations of Syrian troops in Aleppo. Military experts are sure that we can clearly see a sign of elimination of leaders of armed groups by the special operations forces.
In addition, analysts drew their attention to extremely accurate airstrikes of the Russian Aerospace Forces – this means that forward air controllers, which are usually represented by officers of the Special Forces, worked. According to experts, the Syrian Army does not have so good trained personnel to carry out such tasks.
In its turn, the Russian Defense Ministry has confirmed presence of the Russian Special Forces on the territory of Syria. However, the Ministry claims that Russian servicemen only exchange experiences and act as military advisers.
“Divisions of our Special Operations Forces operate on the territory of Syria. They carry out reconnaissance check of facilities for airstrikes of the Russian air power, direct aircraft to targets in remote areas, solve other special tasks,” commander of the army’s group in Syria, Colonel-General Alexander Dvornikov, said.
However, the fact that the Special Forces take an active part in special operations is confirmed by the example of Palmyra, where Russian officer Alexander Prokhorenko lost his life, being surrounded by terrorists, while he was performing tasks as an air controller. Officer Fedor Zhuravlev, who aimed cruise missiles, was also killed in a similar situation.