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Russian military instructors hold series of drills with Syrian tank crews

The drills also include firing exercises
T-72 tank of Syrian army Sergei Fadeichev/TASS
T-72 tank of Syrian army
© Sergei Fadeichev/TASS

ALEPPO /Syria/, February 9. /TASS/. The Russian military personnel held a series of drills with the Syrian army’s tank units that included various maneuvers and firings, Russian Army serviceman in Syria Grigory Lazutkin who took part in the war games told reporters on Tuesday.

"Today the Syrian armed forces are not the troops that were at the beginning of the war. Today they are more combat efficient. Their defense is sustainable and prepared," he explained.

Soviet T-72 tanks are the backbone of the Syrian army’s armored units. They undergo upgrade in Syria to adapt them to the militants’ guerilla tactics: they get extra armor and locally-made jammers against anti-tank missiles. But basically these are still easy-to-operate and reliable Soviet combat vehicles well known to the Russian military personnel.

The drills with the Syrian tank crews primarily include training in performing various maneuvers, which implies their multiple repetition. The counter-artillery zigzag that helps avoid enemy artillery fire through the tank’s movements is one of the most complex maneuvers. For Syria’s desert landscapes where there are few natural shelters, this maneuver is especially important, tank operators say.

The drills also include firing exercises. Even though experienced soldiers serve in the Syrian armored units, Russian military instructors find a lot of faults. These faults are being analyzed and rectified on the training ground equipped on the territory liberated from militants.