DAMASCUS, Syria — Hundreds of Syrian paratroopers took part in a joint exercise with their Russian counterparts in the war-torn country in the second joint maneuver this month, state media reported.
The agency gave no further details in its Saturday evening report on the drill or specified where it took place. He said the aim was to train Syrian paratroopers on how to react in various circumstances.
Russia is a key supporter of President Bashar Assad and has a large presence in Syria where an 11-year conflict has killed hundreds of thousands and displaced half of the country’s pre-war population.
Russia engaged militarily in Syria in September 2015, helping to tip the balance of power in favor of Assad’s forces.
Earlier this month, Syrian and Russian air forces conducted exercises over different parts of the country, including the edge of Israel’s border along the Golan Heights.
Four months ago, the two countries conducted an exercise a week before Russia began its invasion of Ukraine on February 24. In mid-February, the Russian military deployed nuclear-capable long-range bombers and fighter jets carrying state-of-the-art equipment. hypersonic missiles in Syria for massive naval exercises in the Mediterranean Sea.
The drills come amid repeated airstrikes inside Syria attributed to Israel, which appear to target Iran-linked militias in the country.
Two weeks ago, Israel reportedly caused severe damage to Damascus International Airport, putting it out of service until last Friday, when flights resumed.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.