After a ruthless and exhausting 6 years of war in Syria, only the most ideologically strong militias have managed to flourish, absorbing various fragmented rebel factions and uniting them under strict philosophies. On the frontlines of Raqqa, a battle is raging between the American-backed coalition of Kurdish and Arab fighters known as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the Islamic State (ISIS).
The so-called Islamic State (IS) has employed a range of decoys in an effort to limit the Coalition’s air power advantage. Wooden mock-ups of HMWWV light tactical vehicles, main battle tanks, and other platforms were recently discovered by the Iraqi Army in Islamic State workshops in northern Mosul. Additionally, in the course of the Battle of Manbij from June-August 2016, the opposition Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) uncovered a factory that had been used by IS to build fake weapons in an effort to fool aerial reconnaissance.
The plant has a long-term contract with the Defense Ministry for 92 Su-34 jets and is implementing it with almost one year ahead of schedule, he said.
The Su-34 jet “has shown its best characteristics in the Syrian conflict, has a huge potential for modernization and is almost a plane of the new generation,” Borisov said.
Units of the Russian Special Forces, operating in Syria, are armed with the most modern small arms, the AK-74M3 Kalashnikov assault rifles. The AK-74M3 was captured on a video, showing actions of the Russian Special Operations Forces in the area of Palmyra. The video was filmed by videographers of the Center for Special Assignments of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB).
The intensification of the operation to retake Raqqah will push Washington to increase its military presence in Syria, deploying more troops, artillery pieces and other military equipment. These forces will likely be redeployed from Iraq after the end of the anti-ISIS operation in the western part of Mosul.
The Syrian army said in a statement Thursday that the Turkish artillery fire targeted Syrian military positions near the city of Manbij in Aleppo province in northern Syria, state news agency SANA reported.
The Turkish shelling targeted the Syrian border corps, recently been deployed in the western countryside of Manbij to be a separation line between the Turkish forces and the Kurdish-led groups, which are in control of the city.