On June 25, the Ministry of Defense of Syria released a video documenting a recent parachuting exercise which was held with support from the Russian military.
“Within the framework of coordination and joint training between the friendly Syrian and Russian armies, one of our armed forces’ formations carried out, over several days, a parachuting exercise, in which hundreds of our heroic fighters participated, who during the training demonstrated high morale, courage and accuracy in preparation and implementation,” the ministry said in a statement.
The three-minute video shows hundreds of troops from the elite 25th Special Mission Forces Division, also known as the “Tiger Forces,” and other formations of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) jumping from Russian Mi-8 helicopters and Il-76 airlifters.
The video also included footage from a new facility that the SAA built and equipped with help from the Russian military especially for training on airborne operations.
Earlier this year, the Russian military began a program to help the SAA rebuild its capabilities to conduct airborne operations. After the outbreak of the war, the army suspended training on such operations due to the lack of resources and security concerns. Now, with Russian help the army can once again train paratroops.
The large-scale parachuting exercise highlights the growing cooperation and coordination between the SAA and the Russian military, who continue to maintain a large presence in Syria.