ASSESSMENTS

In Syria, the Russian Military Found the Ultimate Testing Ground

MIN READOct 23, 2017 | 08:59 GMT

The Russian guided missile cruiser Moskva patrols off the coast of Syria in December 2015. The conflict in Syria proved to be the ultimate testing ground for Russian troops, equipment and combat capabilities. 

(MAX DELANY/AFP/Getty Images)

Among the many reasons Russia intervened in the Syrian civil war beginning in 2015, none was more important than Russia's desire to firm up and protect its historical position in the country. And in doing so, Russia hoped to enhance its influence and leverage in the wider Middle East and in broader talks with the United States. But there's an aspect to Russia's intervention in Syria that is often overlooked, but which has proved invaluable to Moscow. The conflict in Syria has been the ultimate testing ground for Russian troops, equipment and combat capabilities....

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