Tuesday, 16 Jul, 2024
Tuesday, 16 Jul, 2024
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Ukraine deploys forces in Syria against Russia

DP International Desk

Ukraine deploys forces in Syria against Russia

Ukraine has reportedly deployed Special Forces troops to Syria to fight against Russian mercenaries in the country, possibly opening up yet another front in the conflict between Kyiv and Moscow, Middle East Monitor said citing a Ukrainian news outlet.

The Kyiv Post, earlier this week, a video it obtained from sources within Ukraine’s Main Directorate of Intelligence (GRU) agency showed Ukrainian Special Forces members from the Military Intelligence Directorate (HUR) targeting Russian checkpoints, foot patrols, military convoys and strongholds in south-west Syria.

With the video apparently dated March 2024, the outlet cited an unnamed Ukrainian intelligence source as saying that the troops had been backing Syrian rebels in conducting multiple operations and attacks against Russian military facilities since the beginning of this year.

During the operations, the Ukrainian Special Forces troops have reportedly used a variety of guerrilla tactics and weaponry, including rocket-propelled grenades, improvised “Tarab” mortars and improvised explosive devices to assist rebels against Russian fighters and Syrian forces under the regime of Bashar Al-Assad.

Many analysts have increasingly countered the video footage and reports, however, arguing that Russian forces and mercenaries are not deployed in the south-west of Syria, that Syrian opposition fighters are not at large in that area of the country, and that the footage is old and depicts clashes in Daraa, another area in southern Syria further east from the Golan Heights.

Others have also pointed out its contradiction to the narrative that Ukraine is severely short of troops and personnel in its war against Russia’s invading forces, with it seeming illogical for Kyiv to deploy much-needed manpower to fight abroad. According to the outlet, Business Insider, Alexander Libman, a professor of Russian and East European Politics at the Free University of Berlin, said that “Sending any troops away from the country

would be indeed rather strange.”

If the reports were verified and found to be true, on the other hand, it would somewhat confirm rumours that Ukraine – likely with Western assistance – is seeking to counter Russian military strength and influence far from its own territory and borders, opening up new covert fronts in the  ongoing conflict. It would also corroborate reports earlier this year that Ukrainian forces were fighting Russian mercenaries in Sudan.