More than a hundred Russian soldiers have died since Moscow launched a military campaign in Syria on September 30 to support Bashar al-Assad, sources close to the Assad regime told Anadolu Agency on Friday.
The sources said hundreds of Russian troops in Syria routinely take part in commanding a number of regime offensives on opposition front lines, while Russian special forces occasionally participate in operations alongside regime forces.
Russian troops are deployed in Latakia’s Jurin, Salma and Rabia districts as well as Hmeimim Russian military base, the sources said. The troops also assume duties as technical teams operating aircraft and missiles in Damascus, Hama and Homs.
Russian units are Also present in the northeastern al-Hasakah province to contribute to works on extending the Qamishli international airport near the Turkish border. On January 19, Syria’s Local Coordination Committees said that 100 Russian troops had been deployed to Qamishli.
The sources told Anadolu Agency that 109 Russian troops have been killed since the start of the military operations on September 30, 2015. Many were killed in clashes while others died when their transport helicopters were shot down, the sources said.
Despite intense bombardment by Russian military forces, opposition fighters continue to hold their positions against regime forces in many areas.
According to a report published on January 11 by the London-based Jane’s Defense Weekly, the Assad regime gained only 1.3 percent of land despite Russian air force support for nearly four months. One area where the regime advancement was noticeable was the Turkmen Mount area in rural Latakia.
Rebel fighters also made strategic gains against the regime since Russia’s campaign began, seizing the towns of Kafr Nabuda and Atshan in northern rural Hama, as well as the strategic town of Morik in Hama. (Source: Anadolu Agency)