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Russian army special forces participate in operations in Syria — commander

March 23, 2016, 19:45 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russia's special operations forces conduct reconnaissance checks prior to the Russian air strikes

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A Russian military serviceman in Syria

A Russian military serviceman in Syria

© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, March 23 /TASS/. The task of the Russian special operations forces in Syria is to direct planes to targets, Colonel General Alexander Dvornikov, commander of the Russian group of troops in Syria, has said.

"I am not going to conceal the fact that our special operations forces are working in the territory of Syria. They are doing reconnaissance checks prior to the Russian air strikes; heading the planes to targets in remote regions as well as fulfilling other special tasks," Dvornikov said in an interview with the Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily.

He added that similar units of the US Armed Forces and the armies of other coalition states were also operating in Syria.

In addition to that, Russian military advisers are helping the Syrian authorities. "These officers are helping their Syrian colleagues to plan and conduct the warfare against terrorists and learn to handle the Russian military hardware," General Dvornikov said.

Russia began the operation in Syria on September 30, 2015 at the request of Syria’s President Bashar Assad. On March 14, 2015 Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered to pull out the main part of the Russian aerospace group from Syria. He said the Russian military had coped with its tasks by and large.

Two Russian military facilities in Syria will remain operational - the Hmeimim air field and Tartus. The Russian Defense Ministry, too, has said the struggle with terrorists will go on.

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