The Role of the Spetsnaz in the Liberation of Aleppo

By freeing the Castello road in mid-2016, the Syrian Arab army allowed the almost total isolation of 10,000 rebels in eastern Aleppo. After five years of civil war, the Syrian Arab army surprised by its maximum efficiency level proved by the operation of liberation of the eastern part of the city of Aleppo.

The basis of this efficiency lies in a vast disorganization of the leadership of the groups of the Islamist mercenaries carried out by the operations of the special forces of the Russian army, the Spetsnaz. The Spetsnaz are directly subordinate to the GRU, the military intelligence service of the Russian Federation and have 13,000 combatants. Only 25 per cent of the Spetsnaz, ie one regiment (45 paratroopers), seven groups of ground troops (groups 2, 3, 10, 14, 16, 22 and 24) and four groups of the Navy (420, 431, 442 and 561), are allowed to carry out clandestine actions far from Russia.

To act in a hostile environment requiring intelligence, physical and mental strength, motivation, teamwork ability and rapid decision-making, the Russian army selected for the Syrian contingent three battalions of Spetsnaz , Allowed to do clandestine action who know perfectly the Arabic language and the local customs. For one year, a Spetsnaz battalion gradually infiltrated Aleppo, in areas controlled by Islamist rebels.

The Spetsnaz Battalion was structured into 30 Alpha teams consisting of 10 soldiers each with tablet-sized communications equipment that allows for low-key communication and the transmission of video and satellite data in the X-band (From 7 to 11 2 GHz). Similar terminals exist in the Russian system of collecting and processing C4I information (command, control, communications, informatics, intelligence and interoperability) created by the Russians in Syria. Spetsnaz teams also have night vision devices, exhibitors, GPS, beacons, laser beam emitters and a multitude of sensors with which they continuously monitor individuals or groups of people.

Research activities by informants (HUMINT) and technical means (SIGINT IMINT, MASINT) of the Russian Army have led to the conclusion that foreign sponsors provide information (some from satellite or reconnaissance drones). The weaknesses of the Syrian Arab Army system and its operational plans, has been is unsuccessful targeting  of the only 50 Islamist group commanders in Aleppo. It is also through these commanders that the payment of mercenary balances, the delivery of arms, ammunition and military instructors pass. That is why the Russians decided on their physical elimination.

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Only 10% of the Islamist fighters in eastern Aleppo are Syrians, which explains why the population of Aleppo not only refuses to collaborate with them but is trying to provide as much information as possible to the Arab army Syria. This reality on the ground facilitated the infiltration of the Spetsnaz and their legendary presence in the eastern districts of Aleppo, where they created shelters, observation points and recruited support groups among Syrian civilians .

Within a few months, each team gathered information on the location of members of the leadership structure, habits and weaknesses of the Islamist group leaders holding the areas of occupation. Under the pretext of providing food, some members of the Alpha Spetsnaz teams volunteered to participate in the digging of shelters and tunnels to store the weapons and ammunition of the jihadists.

With enormous amounts of euros and dollars, members of the Alpha Spetsnaz teams then bribed low-level Islamist fighters to obtain vested benefits and the opportunity to work in workshops for the repair or maintenance of Vehicles, armored vehicles or communications equipment. Jihadists said they owned modern Toyota Tacoma pickups made in San Antonio, Texas, with a 3.5-liter 278-horsepower engine powered by a microprocessor.

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In the end, for money, many rebels became informants for Alpha Spetsnaz team members. In each Alpha team, there were two repair and management specialists for all automotive and armored equipment, and three specialists in operations, programming and repair of communications equipment (including deployment of Satellite and which make it possible to transmit).

The team also features three snipers who are responsible for guiding aviation attacks through voice commands or placing beacons or laser beams pointing at the target. Two other members of the team are engineers, specializing in the manufacture of integral camouflage systems, artisan explosives and demining. All members of an alpha team are specialized in the use of all types of weapons and are trained in how to provide first aid.

This explains the fact that a few days before the beginning of the operation of liberation of the Aleppo area led by the Syrian Arab army, we saw on the accounts of the social networks of the so-called Syrian opposition info On the liquidation of more than 10 top commanders of Islamist groups, all shot down with large-caliber sniper rifles by Spetsnaz snipers posted far from their targets.

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The long shot from a position that does not make a big cloud of dust when firing

Eight other rebel commanders were killed by Russian aircraft while they were talking on cell phones or by satellite. The phones had been “worked” in advance by the Spetsnaz Alpha teams so that the “intelligent” missiles were guided by the signal they were transmitting. Twelve other Islamic commanders were eliminated by air strikes on the cars or armored vehicles in which they were moving in Aleppo.

The Spetsnaz Alpha teams had mounted miniature satellite marker devices on these vehicles. At the same time, cruise missiles or bombs launched by Russian aviation, relying on the GPS coordinates received from the Spetsnaz Alpha teams, to spray the buildings or bunkers of Aleppo at the exact moment of the command meetings of Islamist leaders.

On the eve of the offensive by the Syrian Arab army, Russian planes carried out 24 raids and bombed the underground shelters and tunnels, leaving the rebels without ammunition. The bombs of Russian aviation were guided by marking tags set up by the Alpha teams. The activities of these teams continued during the offensive of the Syrian Arab army, transmitting by satellite information and images on the defenses adopted by the Islamist groups in Aleppo and pinpointing precisely the zones of concentration, of fire.

This allowed the Russian aircraft to neutralize the armored and the artillery of the Islamists and Syrians. They allowed the Syrian Arab army to discover undercover corridors and use them to bypass and flank the enemy, succeeding in fragmenting the defenses and destroying each one of them.

Conclusions.

  • We are witnessing the military transformation of the special forces of the great world powers, from simple Rambo fighters to high-tech professionals.
  • Russia has demonstrated that it has special forces, such as the United States, whose professionalism can change the fate of war.
  • Islamists in Syria can be easy to beat when they are isolated, without the possibility of receiving reinforcements, money, weapons and information from their external sponsors.
  • After this first successful attempt, the Russians can infiltrate the Spetsnaz Alpha teams into territory held by the Islamic state. What they had not done so far.
  • The actions of the Spetsnaz have decisively influenced the liberation operation carried out by the Syrian Arab army against the Islamic State group.

Machine Translated from French

Source: Reseau International

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