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Russian Military Declares Syria As Its New Testing Ground

Photo: The New Arab

Recently developed Russian arms and weaponry are being tested and tried on Syria, Moscow admitted and called Syria as its new testing ground.

Lieutenant General Igor Makushev, chairman of the Military Science Committee, said that the country’s military intervention has allowed it to test the recently developed ammunitions.

“More than 200 weapons have been tested during the special operation, which demonstrated high combat effectiveness and proved to be mission-capable,” Makushev told TASS at a military expo in Moscow.

“Special attention is paid to new arms models – including those that are undergoing state tests – in order to timely detect and quickly remove possible manufacturing and design defects.”

Open Russian military intervention in Syria began in September 2015, with the air force carrying out punishing airstrikes on opposition forces in support of Bashar al-Assad.

The air campaign has resulted in deaths of tens of thousands of civilians. Human rights groups, military analysts and NGOs – such as Doctors Without Borders (MSF) – have presented strong evidence to show that Russia has deliberately targeted homes, hospitals, schools and other vital civilian infrastructure.

Russian bombing is also thought to be behind Assad’s change in fortunes in the war with the Syrian president on the ropes in 2015 and now in command of most Syria’s major urban centres.

It has given Russia a hold over the Syrian regime which allowed mining and oil companies to walk away with lucrative deals and Moscow was allowed to open a semi-permanent air base in Latakia province.

Russia has expanded its military influence elsewhere in the region after losing a few of its clients after the 2011 Arab Spring. They are also using the war to fix defects in recently developed weapons systems.

“The revealed defects and certain breakdowns did not affect the performed battle missions,” Makushev added.

“Each problematic issue was analysed in the most thorough manner – including with the assistance of defence industry representatives – and comprehensive measures to eliminate the causes for abnormal operation of weapons and military equipment were hammered out.”

Many Arab states have lashed out at Russia for its ruthless military campaign in Syria. But, Moscow has also managed to strike several key arms deal since it backed the Assad regime.

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