The first joint exercise of Russian and Syrian helicopter pilots has taken place in a Syrian desert, Chief of Aviation of the Russian forces in Syria Andrei Yermakov told reporters.
“Today, we completed the final phase of a joint tactical flight training involving the Russian Aerospace Forces and the Syrian Air Force. During the training, we practiced cooperation between Russian and Syrian air units during missions aimed at hitting predetermined and impromptu targets, as well as at facilitating the landing of tactical airborne units,” Yermakov said, adding that it was the first exercise involving Russian and Syrian helicopter pilots.
A Syrian Air Force representative, in turn, highlighted the importance of such drills for Syrian pilots.
The exercise involved Russia’s Mil Mi-8 transport helicopters and Kamov Ka-52 combat helicopters, while Syria used the Mil Mi-24 helicopters. The drills took place in a Syrian desert under simulated combat conditions.
The Russian Aerospace Force has been deployed to Syria since 2015. During this period, Syrian government forces, supported by Russian pilots, has liberated most of the country from Islamist militants.