Russian Military Capabilities Shown In Syria
Russia's successes on the Syrian battlefield seem to have come as a surprise for those, who thought Russian Armed Forces were stuck in the 1990s. The ongoing aerial campaign against extremists in Syria has likely dispelled this misconception.
"Moving into the third week of Russia's surprise aerial intervention in Syria's four-and-a-half-year-old civil war, Moscow has not only claimed early successes, but demonstrated that efforts to modernize its military are yielding real benefits and restoring lost capabilities," journalist Matthew Bodner wrote for Defense News.
Moscow has been engaged in a multinational counterterrorism effort in Syria authorized by President Bashar al-Assad. Since September 30, Russian forces have conducted scores of aerial sorties daily destroying terrorist command centers, ammunition depots, underground bunkers, field camps and strongholds.
The airstrike campaign has also been largely seen as an opportunity for Russia to showcase its best weaponry.
Sukhoi Su-34 strike fighters, Kalibr cruise missiles and guided munitions (including the Kh-25 laser-guided missile and the KAB-500S Glonass satellite-guided bomb), which have never before been used in combat, have attracted particular attention.
Russian forces, according to Bodner, have also been using new tactics, a hybrid of air support missions favored by the Soviet Union and precision air strikes employed by the West.
In general, "the Syria campaign has been an impressive demonstration of new Russian military capabilities," the journalist emphasized.