Ukraine’s military intelligence directorate (HUR) said on Monday, Feb 12 that Russian troops are being trained on the use of Iranian drones at the Shayrat airfield in Syria’s western province of Homs.
The training is being conducted by Lebanese Hezbollah Police and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and is teaching the Russian to become operators of Iranian Shahed-136 and Ababil-3 UAVs, as well as the Raad remote-controlled aircraft.
The head of this training has been identified as a senior Hezbollah commander, Kamal Abu Sadiq, who is a specialist in the manufacture and maintenance of drones. Syrian mercenaries, whom the Kremlin plans to use as UAV operators in the war against Ukraine, are being trained alongside the Russian servicemen.
Last week, the HUR reported that Moscow was recruiting mercenaries in Syria to join the war against Ukraine, training up to 1,000 mercenaries in urban fighting texhniques and tactics.
On completion of the training, it is expected that the fighters will be taken to Russia’s main Syrian air base at Hmeymim before moving on to the territory of Russia.
The Syrian mercenaries will receive Russian citizenship upon arrival and then be mobilized into Moscow’s armed forces.
As in other countries, such as Nepal, the search for and recruitment of Syrian men for the Russian army is conducted through travel agencies.
“Recruitment of Syrians for the war indicates a deterioration in the moral and psychological state of the Russian occupation forces due to large-scale losses and the need to replenish them for further meat assaults," the HUR report suggests.
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