Russian aerial support for Syrian Army operations is impossible to underestimate, a member of the Syrian armed forces told Russian television.
Muhammad, who is now retired, fought while encircled in the al-Ashrafiyah district of Aleppo, which he described as a “Syrian Stalingrad.” According to him, the aerial operation has allowed units like his to break out of encirclement, and for refugees to return home.
“There is one simple example, which will explain everything. After Russian military pilots started working, fighters were forced to leave and open up the blocked road between Damascus and Aleppo, which is a lifeline. It would be difficult to count how many people would have died of starvation if it was not for the work of Russian pilots,” Baha Muhammad told Russian television.
The Russian air campaign was launched on September 30, when more than fifty Russian warplanes, including Su-24M, Su-25 and Su-34 jets, commenced precision airstrikes on Islamic State targets in Syria at the behest of Syrian President Bashar Assad.Earlier that day, the Russian upper house of parliament unanimously supported the request of President Vladimir Putin to deploy units of the Russian Aerospace Forces abroad.
Syrian Ambassador to Russia Riad Haddad confirmed that Syrian Army strikes, supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces, were being carried out against armed terrorist organizations, not political opposition factions or civilians.