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Russia failed to repeat Afghan mistakes in Syria

Russia failed to repeat Afghan mistakes in Syria

Tags: Russia, the Army, VKS, Syria, War in the Middle East, Middle East, Terrorism

"Motherland is waiting for you, friends. Good luck! Thank you for your service. " With these words, the Supreme Commander-in-Chief Vladimir Putin, addressing the pilots who fought in Syria, ordered the Russian group to withdraw. Russia really managed to achieve an impressive military victory in Syria, and it remains only to list, thanks to which it happened.

"You with a victory return to the native places, the relatives, parents, wives, children, friends. Homeland is waiting for you, friends. Good luck! Thank you for your service, "the President, Supreme Commander-in-Chief Vladimir Putin said on Monday, speaking to our military at the airbase of Khmeimim, and ordered the withdrawal of the group from Syria. The decision was made in connection with the fact that the "Islamic State" movement has already been completely defeated, as the president announced on Wednesday.

"The threat of terrorism in general is still very high, but Syria managed to defeat one of the main groups - the" Islamic state ", - Vladimir Putin said, referring to Syrian colleague Bashar Assad. Assad, in turn, on behalf of the entire Syrian people expressed deep gratitude for the role played by VCS in the overall struggle.

"I got the task and began to withdraw troops in the 25 aircraft. Of these, 23 airplanes of various modifications, two K-52 helicopters, as well as a military contingent as part of the Russian military police detachment, a special purpose unit, a military field hospital, a detachment of the mine clearing center, " Sergei Surovikina.

According to Putin's order, on a regular basis there are two points of the Russian military base - the base of the VCS Khmeimim and the logistics center of the Navy in Tartus.

"Our aviation will remain in Khmeimim: bombers, fighters, ground attack planes, army aviation. There will be air defense, "Viktor Bondarev, the former commander-in-chief of the Military Space Forces, told Interfax today, who currently heads the Federation Council Committee on Defense and Security. In his estimation, now the Russian engineering troops come to the forefront.

"Russians take part in the demining of the country's territory. I think other UN countries will join this work, "Bondarev explained. By the way, since September of the year 2015, it was Bondarev who commanded the aviation group of the VCS in Syria. During this time, Russian aviation has demonstrated results that, according to experts, have become fantastic.

According to the editor-in-chief of the magazine Arsenal of the Fatherland, Colonel Viktor Murakhovsky, in Syria, the Russian military used operational tactics, which can not be called new - they have long been known. "For example, covering the enemy by air is a known way of using a helicopter airborne landing in the rear. There was a simultaneous attack from the rear and from the front, which ended with the defeat of the units of IGIL *. The use of operational-maneuvering groups that penetrated deeply, covering the flanks and rear of the enemy, and struck in those areas and directions where they were not expected, "Murakhovsky said.

Anton Mardasov, head of the department for studies of Middle Eastern conflicts at the Institute for Innovative Development, told VZGLYAD:

"Many Russian military operations remained off-screen, for example, raid operations, helicopter operations, and this work was extremely important. So we can say with confidence that Russia demonstrated methods of war, in which "the result is achieved by minimal means".

In two years Russia has won a victory in Syria. Thus, the predictions that this Arab republic will turn for Moscow into the "second Afghanistan", which in the multitude sounded from the West in the fall of 2015 year, did not come true.

We did not build socialism there

"We must understand that in Afghanistan, socialism began to be built in Soviet traditions. This determined much more involvement literally throughout the territory of Afghanistan and provided for a serious involvement of the contingent of ground troops. Everyone was: both land forces, airborne forces, and even border troops were noted, Murakhovsky reminded, adding: "Here we did not intend to implant anything in the sense of the political system and solved the narrow task of destroying the formations of the DAIS. The political task was one - to prevent the disintegration of Syria. "

As is known, by September of the year 2015 President Bashar Assad controlled less than 15 percent of the Syrian territory (19 thousand square kilometers). Then Damascus appealed to Moscow for help, appealing to the treaty of friendship and cooperation concluded between the USSR and the Arab Republic in 1980. 30 September 2015, the Federation Council gave President Putin the consent to use armed forces in Syria. Initially, the grouping of the military air force consisted of 50 aircraft and helicopters. In November, only aircraft numbered 69 units. At the same time, in November, for the first time, long-range aircraft of the VKS, which launched the first launch of air-to-surface cruise missiles against militant targets, were used in Syria. At the same time, the ships of the Caspian Flotilla were "fired" for the first time in accordance with the aims of the IG *.

For today, the provinces of Latakia (where the Khmeimim base is located), Aleppo, the city of Palmyra are liberated. The city of Deir ez Zor is liberated from the long siege, Islamists are smashed in the provinces of Rakka and Idlib. In November, fighting unfolded around the last major stronghold of the IG near the Syrian-Iraqi border. As of September, the VIC produced more than 28 thousand sorties and about 99 thousand hits against militants. The losses of the Russian Air Force in Syria today are as follows: three aircraft (shot down by Turkish F-16 Su-24, as well as Su-33 and MiG-29K wings of the cruiser Admiral Kuznetsov) and five helicopters.

Only in the last seven months "more than 67 thousand square kilometers of the territory of Syria, more than one thousand settlements, 78 oil and gas fields were liberated ...", the commander of the VKS Sergey Surovikin reported on Monday. During this time, seven thousand sorties of aircraft and helicopters were manufactured, at least 32 thousand fighters, 394 tanks and over 12 thousand units of weapons and equipment were destroyed.

Controlled Damascus part of Syria increased to 78 thousand square meters. km, which is 98 percent of the country's territory. But the main thing, experts say, is that the quality of the Syrian army has changed.

Three stages of the operation

At the first stage (six to seven months), aviation operated mainly on the enemy's strategic reserves, its rear infrastructure and command and control systems of the operational-strategic level, Konstantin Sivkov, president of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, said in a comment to the newspaper VZGLYAD. This manner of action was due to the fact that there was no interaction with the Syrian armed forces. "The command structure of the Syrian army in general was not ready," Sivkov said.

At the second stage - from the spring of 2016 in the middle of this autumn - "VCs focused mainly on supporting the actions of the Syrian army, as well as on destroying enemy rear communications," Sivkov points out. "It was restored and established a full-fledged management within the structures of the Syrian army, as well as interaction with Russian VCS. This is due to the emergence of our experts - advisers, whose contribution was decisive. But, - Sivkov notes, - the Syrian army in its combat potential is not so strong to solve significant operational problems. "

At the third and final stage, "VCS again switched to actions on rear facilities, mainly on maneuvering groups of militants". A battle-worthy core with a trained command staff was revealed, notes Sivkov. Thanks to the well-coordinated work of artillery and its interaction with other branches of the armed forces, the need for direct fire support for the military intelligence system decreased, although this support was maintained.

Revived Syrian army

At first, the degree of preparedness of the bulk of government troops did not allow the Russian generals to fully implement modern operational tactics to the full, Murakhovsky explained, adding: "We had to work hard to prepare the Syrian troops, and in fact such modern methods were used at the final stage of the fighting" .

If we compare it with the actions of the Pentagon, then, unlike Russia, Americans, in fact, did not directly conduct military operations in Syria and Iraq, Murakhovsky recalled. VKS Russia, he noted, differed in that, with a small number of the group itself, it was used intensively.

"That is, by the number of departures per aircraft or helicopter, by the number of strikes that were applied during one sortie, we significantly exceeded the Americans and their allies in the coalition. In addition, from a certain moment, approximately from the time of the operation around Deir-ez-Zor, we began actively striking in the interests of immediate air support for the troops, that is, Su-25 attack aircraft and helicopters operating from extremely low altitudes. The Americans did not bother with such things, and they did not carry out such support, "the interlocutor said.

But only the active phase of the operation was completed, recalls Mardasov. "Now the most interesting part begins, as there are military police, aviation grouping, and also a grouping of army aviation that will ensure the safety of airfields," he explained. Recall that the main technique of army aviation are helicopters that perform auxiliary tasks, such as reconnaissance, communication, correction of artillery, transportation of goods and other.

The foci of IGIL are still in the east of Syria, as well as in Iraq. "There it is necessary to conduct operational search work, raid operations," Mardasov said. The question remains as to how the idea will be realized with the zones of de-escalation. "All these factors need to continue to be taken into account even after the withdrawal of part of the grouping," the expert concluded.

* Organization, in respect of which the court accepted an inured decision on liquidation or prohibition of the activity on the grounds provided the Federal Law "On Countering Extremist Activity"

Nikita Kovalenko, Marina Baltacheva, Mikhail Moshkin
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