Syrian army now using advanced weapons from Russia: military source
Russia has a long history of providing military support in Syria, but recent reports suggest an increased intervention in the conflict. (AFP/File)
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A Syrian military source revealed on Thursday that President Bashar al-Assad's regime has in recent weeks begun using advanced air and ground weapons from Russia, in a worrying sign of Moscow's growing role in the bloody Syrian civil war.
The source told Reuters that the new weapons feature high efficiency and accuracy, and that Assad's army trained on them for several months before their recent deployment on the battlefield.
"New weapons are being delivered, and new types of weapons. The Syrian army is being trained in the use of these weapons. In fact, the army has started using some of these (weapon) types," revealed the source.
"The weapons are highly effective and very accurate, and hit targets precisely. We can say they are all types of weapons - be it air or ground."
The revelation corroborates numerous reports of escalated Russian military support and even direct intervention on behalf of the Assad regime. It also adds greater weight and urgency to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's visit to Russia next week where he will meet with President Vladimir Putin.
In an official statement on Wednesday it was written that Netanyahu "will present the threats on Israel as a result of the increased influx of advanced weaponry to the Syrian theater, and from the flow of lethal weapons to Hezbollah and to other terrorist organizations."
Aside from the new Russian weapons, there is growing evidence of an expanding Russian army presence on the ground in Syria as its military buildup propping up Assad continues to enlarge.
US officials disclosed on Wednesday that via satellite imagery America has located at least four helicopters, including helicopter gunships, at a Syrian airfield.
According to the officials, Russia is sending two military cargo flights daily to a Latakia air base, and previously it was revealed Russia has sent around 200 naval infantry forces, tanks, artillery and other military hardware to an air base in the same region.
Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters on Wednesday that Russia has proposed military talks with the United States on Syria, with the talks evidently meant to coordinate ways of avoiding clashes between American and Russian troops as Russia expands its presence.