On September 30, a Russian military operation began in Syria. Aviation For a month, the Russian Air Force attacked hundreds of Islamic State terrorist targets, but these actions were not always and not always welcomed by the international arena. "Power" summed up the first results of the stay of the Russian military on Syrian soil.
The operation in Syria — the de facto first full-fledged military maneuver since the “five-day war” with Georgia in 2008 — the Russian Defense Ministry began preparing well before the official appeal of President Bashar Al-Assad and the meeting of the Russian Security Council 29 in September, at which it was finally decided to help Syrian troops in the fight against terrorists. According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, about the upcoming air strikes on terrorist positions, Vladimir Putin informed US President Barack Obama during the meeting on the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York. Obama's response was brief: "We assumed so."
According to Vlast, the buildup of forces and equipment at the logistics station in Tartus began in August-September, when the large landing ships Novocherkassk, Korolev, Saratov, Azov, Caesar Kunikov, and Also, the Alexander Tkachenko cargo ferry was loaded to Novorossiysk with special equipment, ammunition and fuel and lubricants, and sent through the Bosphorus to the Mediterranean Sea. Having copied enough in paragraph weapons (air bombs, air bombs and air-to-ground missiles), the military had to solve only one task - to relocate the aircraft. It was objectively easy to do this against the background of the Center-2015 exercises, which involved more than 150 aircraft. Under this cover, the Russian fighter Su-30SM, front-line bombers Su-34 and Su-24M, attack aircraft Su-25 flew to the airfields of Krymsk and Mozdok, and then, bypassing the Caspian Sea (or the airspace of Azerbaijan), as well as Iran and Iraq, got to Syria. By September 30, a full-fledged mixed aviation group from more than 50 machines was created at Hmeimim airbase: by then Mi-8 and Mi-24P helicopters were added to the aircraft, and they still attack the Syrian provinces, which are located in the territory of the militants from the "Islamic State" and "Dzhebhat an-Nusra".
According to the Ministry of Defense, in the period from September 30 to October 22, the Russian pilots made 934 combat sorties from Hmeimim (of which more than a hundred at night) and destroyed at least 819 objects. Most of the strikes were carried out using high-precision air-to-surface missiles X-29L and KAB-500С adjustable bombs, whose maximum deviation from the target, according to the military, is no more than 5 meters. According to the source "Vlasti" in the defense-industrial complex, due to the increased demand of the military for the supply of arms because of the operation in Syria, the employees of the Tactical Missile Weapons Corporation were forced to go to work in three shifts. For the delivery of cargo to Tartus, the Russian Navy, on an emergency basis, acquired eight transport ships from Turkish shipowners, quickly enlisted in the lists of auxiliary vessels with military status: large landing ships could not cope with such a load alone.
In addition to the aviation component on October 7, four Caspian ships flotilla (small rocket launchers Uglich, Grad Sviyazhsk, Veliky Ustyug, and the Dagestan watchdog) launched 26 3M14 Caliber-NK cruise missile attacks on 11 ground targets, as Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reported to the President on the same day personally. This case stands apart: on October 5-6, intelligence discovered objects of militants, which, by decision of the leadership of the Ministry of Defense, it was decided to immediately destroy. The military managed to get consent to launch Iran in the shortest possible time, through the airspace of which the missile trajectory ran.
Judging by the updated data of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, the main attacks of the Russian armed forces are mainly on the provinces of Aleppo, Idlib, Deir-ez-Zor, Raqqa, Lattakia, Palmyra, Damascus and Hama. According to Russian intelligence, most of the militant command posts, positions (in particular, fortified areas and mortar points), weapons depots, and training camps are concentrated there. The first strikes immediately caused criticism from Western countries. “We would welcome Russia's constructive position if it takes on the fight against the Islamic State,” said Mark Toner, a spokesman for the US Department of State. “We didn’t see them hitting targets of terrorists.” “Russia in Syria does not strike at the Islamic State grouping,” said Turkish President Recep Erdogan. “Eight of the 10 air strikes inflicted by Russia fell not on the Islamic State’s facilities, but on the moderate Syrian opposition, including the Free Syrian Army,” British Prime Minister David Cameron echoed. A representative of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abderakhman, stated that “since the start of the operation at least 300 civilians died, in particular, dozens of them died on the first day of the Russian Su-24 bomber's missile attack on the center of the city of Tell-Bis” . And on October 22, a Pentagon spokesman accused the Russian military of using cluster munitions in areas where there might be civilians.
Due to the increased military demand for arms supplies, the employees of the Tactical Missile Weapons Corporation were forced to go to work in three shifts.
The Russian military does not recognize any of the accusations: the last statement of the American military by the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov called completely absurd and unsupported fantasies. According to the Vlasti source in the General Staff, the selection of targets for destruction is based not only on Russia's own data (the situation is monitored by the Persona N2 optical or electronic reconnaissance and Orlan-10 unmanned aerial vehicles practically around the clock), but also on information received from the allies of the operation - Iran, Iraq and Syria. To coordinate the activities, the countries created an information center deployed in Baghdad: its main functions are to collect, process, compile and analyze current information about the situation in the region. The center will be headed by officers of the armed forces of the four countries, three months each on a rotational basis (the Russian side is now represented by the commander of the 6 th combined-arms army, General Sergey Kuralenko).
According to General Kartapolov, before striking at each target, a special form is prepared, computer simulations of the forthcoming strikes are carried out, and only after that the final decision is made to defeat a particular target. “We only hit objects of internationally recognized terrorist groups. Our planes do not work in the southern regions of Syria, where, according to our information, there are units of the Syrian Free Army,” said Kartopolov.
The Russian authorities have repeatedly stressed that the military operation of the Russian Air Force in Syria is absolutely legal, as it is carried out at the request of the legitimate head of state, while the United States, France, Turkey and other countries strike the Syrian territories without any legal grounds. It is very difficult to talk about full-fledged cooperation now, since the United States has set itself the goal of not so much the struggle against the "Islamic state" as the displacement of Assad, the military-diplomatic source of the government is convinced. However, there is still some slight progress: for example, the parties agreed on all the technical issues of ensuring safety of flights over Syria, in addition, the Russian side still expects to receive data from the US military, which coordinates and identifies the location of both militants and residential areas .
International scandals arose several times, not directly related to the bombing. For example, on October 3 in 12: 08 local time, the Su-24M attack aircraft made a short-term entry into Turkish airspace in the Hatay province. The Russian military explained the incident to bad weather conditions, but the official Ankara did not accept this answer: Erdogan said that he could reconsider the issue of purchasing Russian gas. Later, the Turkish fighter shot down a drone near the border with Syria, allegedly of Russian production - Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu promised that, if necessary, the military would also go with the aircraft. The Defense Ministry categorically denied any belonging of the drone to the armed forces.
The fact that Russia does not intend to participate in the land part of the military operation, both in the Kremlin and the Ministry of Defense stated from the very beginning. The military contingent in Syria is present, says the Vlast source in the General Staff: it is based on contract servicemen from the 810-th separate brigade of marines (Sevastopol) and 7-th airborne assault mountain division (Raevskaya village). However, according to him, their main task is to a greater extent in the protection of objects, but in no way in the conduct of hostilities with Islamic radicals.
In fact, Russia is the first time in modern stories leads military action on the doctrine of the Italian General Giulio Douai. Back in 1921, he published the book "Dominance in the Air", in which he described the leading role of aviation in the war, believing that air strikes against key enemy targets could lead to victory. Before the Syrian operation, the Russian armed forces maneuvered in a completely different way: gradually getting rid of the global war model inherited from the Soviet past, focusing on the land component (using shock armies, corps, battalions), the armed forces continued to use disparate forces.
Russia for the first time in modern history leads military action on the doctrine of the Italian General Giulio Due
Alexander Perendzhiev, an expert of the Association of Military Political Scientists, notes that the Russian military men encountered a number of difficulties during the operation in Syria. "The problem is the lack of interaction with the Western coalition, moreover, not every goal can be destroyed so as not to enter into aggravation with the local population," he said. "There is still a lot of work ahead for some of the military component, what it really is. " According to Perendzhiev, the problem lies in the weak advancement of the Assad government army: "The participation of the Russian Air Force in the operation is more morally supportive of Bashar Assad, gives him hope that the territory of Syria will be freed from the terrorists."
According to unofficial information, the troops of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps could provide support to the troops of Bashar Assad, but information on the participation of its representatives in the clashes has not yet been received. The very first large-scale offensive on the territories seized by the terrorists of the "Islamic State" began on October 8. This was announced by the head of the General Staff of the army and the armed forces of Syria, General Ali Abdullah Ayub. The troops attacked the positions of militants in the valley of al-Gab and the mountains of northeastern Latakia. It was emphasized that the 4 th Assault Corps of the Syrian Army, which had not been directly involved in military operations, played a special role in the operation.
The Kremlin at the same time recognizes that without the ground part of the operation, success will be impossible. “No matter how many bombings you can achieve, we initially understood this and planned these actions only in coordination with the Syrian armed forces,” Sergei Ivanov, head of the presidential administration, told journalists during the Valdai-2015 forum. sincerely wants to counteract the obscurantists, terrorists who cut off their heads, rape women and the like. "
Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Rocket and Artillery Sciences Konstantin Sivkov believes that none of the operational tasks set at the beginning of the Syrian operation have been achieved: “The Russian air group works to the limit of efficiency, but the advancement of the Assad army is only only local - our troops in Syria for the conduct of hostilities are not enough, and the Assad forces have neither sufficient ammunition nor specialists to carry out the offensive quickly. "
Last week, Bashar Asad flew to Moscow to meet with Vladimir Putin. And he did it in a rather unusual way: on the IL-62M plane of the RF Ministry of Defense, which followed October 20 on the Latakia flight - the Chkalovsky airfield, and the 21-th flown in the opposite direction. The parties did not disclose the content of the talks: Putin only stated "serious positive results" that Syria has achieved in the fight against international terrorism recently, and Assad thanked him for his assistance in this fight. On Valdai-2015, Sergei Ivanov clarified that the heads of state touched upon the interaction of the Russian Air Force and the Syrian ground forces, and expressed the opinion that the ground operation against the Islamic State, Dzhebhat an-Nusra and other terrorist groups in Syria should be conducted Syrian army and Kurdish militias. However, a clear answer to the main question - how long it will last - has not yet been heard from anyone.