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Russian-trained fighters
dispatched to Syria: monitor

3,000 Russian citizens were recruited by the country’s army and dispatched to “fight on Syrian territory," according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

A photo from 2013 purports to show Russian contractors in Syria. (image via spioenkop.blogspot)

BEIRUT – Russia has recruited a number of its nationals to fight on behalf of the Syrian regime against both ISIS and rebel factions, according to an NGO tracking developments in the war-torn country.

 

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported Wednesday that it “received information from several reliable sources” that 3,000 Russian citizens were recruited by the country’s army and dispatched to “fight on Syrian territory.”

 

The report did not go into details on the nature of the Russian combatants sent to Syria and whether they were contractors, regular servicemen in the country’s armed forces or auxiliary fighters.

 

However, SOHR did provide purported details on where the fighters were deployed, saying that “the largest number of these [combatants] gathered in the As-Safira region southeast of Aleppo,” near the regime’s Defense Plants complex.

 

The Observatory said it “learned that the fighters arrived in Syria in the past four weeks,” adding that their deployment in As-Safira “was in preparation for the start of their involvement in fighting in several Syrian areas.”

 

So far, the SOHR is the only source reporting on the purported deployment of Russian fighters in Syria.

 

NOW's English news desk editor Albin Szakola (@AlbinSzakola) wrote this report. Amin Nasr translated Arabic-language material. 

A photo from 2013 purports to show Russian contractors in Syria. (image via spioenkop.blogspot)

The Observatory said it “learned that the fighters arrived in Syria in the past four weeks."