Confirming what many corporate media outlets have been saying for years, the Russian military recently admitted that Syria is a testing ground for Russia’s military capabilities, Russian-owned outlet TASS reports.
“More than 200 weapons have been tested during the special operation [in Syria], which demonstrated high combat effectiveness and proved to be mission-capable,” Chairman of the Military Science Committee of the Russian Armed Forces and Deputy Head of the General Staff Lieutenant General, Igor Makushev, said at the Army-2017 international military technical forum during a roundtable discussion on the Syrian experience last Friday.
“Special attention is paid to new arms models, including those that are undergoing state tests, in order to timely detect and quickly remove possible manufacturing and design defects,” Makushev also added.
Russia is often portrayed in alternative media circles as a force that intervened in Syria in 2015 to “save” Syria from total collapse and a complete jihadist takeover. While this is true to a major extent, the Russian military has arguably committed widespread civilian suffering, as well. We now know that the Russian military views the Syrian arena as a testing ground for its weapons so Russia can gauge (1) how effectively it can use its current technology to deter and counter the rising threats to its own security and (2) whether a lucrative market can be found for Russia’s weapons systems now that these weapons have been tested.
While Russia clearly intervened in Syria to protect the Assad government, its strategic ally, it most likely had other motives for doing so. One should bear in mind that commentators regularly use this exact allegation in relation to Israel’s assault on Gaza, arguing that Israel is using Gaza as a testing ground for its own weapons, which it then sells to human rights abusing dictatorships.
In both cases, it appears the aforementioned theaters are used as testing grounds even in areas that are densely populated with civilians. The fact that more than 200 weapons have been tested in Syria suggests that while Russia’s intervention makes sense politically and has certainly helped save the Syrian state from being overthrown by a number of violent radical terror groups, its mission still has had very little — if anything — to do with human rights or humanitarian concerns.
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