KHAN SHAYKHUN/Syria/, September 18. /TASS/. A swift operation to liberate Khan Shaykhun, a city in Syria’s Idlib Governorate, was carried out thanks to the Syrian military's elite Tiger Forces, President of the Center for Strategic Communications Dmitry Abzalov told reporters.
During the August operation, the Syrian army freed territories in the northern Hama Governorate and in the south of the neighboring Idlib Governorate, which had been controlled by terrorists since 2014. The turning point was putting Khan Shaykhun back under Assad’s control and securing a section of the Damascus-Aleppo highway.
"This was an operation against the enemy’s superior forces and the mere fact that it was successful is the merit of this unit. Those, who said that the Syrian army was unable to win, should take note: Here is the operation that culminated in a major triumph. This was seen in Palmyra, Deir ez-Zor and now in Khan Shaykhun. This operation not only solved the issue of returning a part of the territories under Damascus’ control but also shielded Russian facilities from the Idlib side," said Abzalov, who visited the freed territories in northern Syria as part of a Russian delegation of experts.
The expert also noted that the outdated armored vehicles in the division’s tank units were not only kept in good working order but were also rapidly upgraded under combat conditions. What’s more, Western sanctions prevented arms supplies from being delivered to the Syrian military. That’s why it’s a challenging task to get spare parts and components for these armored vehicles. So, they were swiftly modernized right on the spot and this provided an extra advantage over the enemy, empowering the Syrian army to clinch a victory, he noted.
The Tiger Forces (Division 25 Special Mission Forces) is an elite formation of the Syrian army specializing in offensive operations. It was set up in autumn 2013 by Colonel Suheil al-Hassan on the instructions of Syria’s top brass and political leadership. The unit, consisting of officers from the 4th and 11th tank divisions, has been vigorously fighting the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra terror groups (outlawed in Russia) since 2013.