DAMASCUS (Dispatches) –
Syrian and Russian warplanes have carried out military drills amid increasing strikes by the Zionist regime, according to a military statement.
The drills and patrols took place near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights in southern Syria and also in the northern and eastern parts of Syria, the statement said.
Two SU-35 Russian jets and six Syrian MiG warplanes took part in the drills, in which they confronted hostile virtual planes and drones.
Parts of the drills were carried out in the evening for the first time, where the Syrian jets succeeded in destroying virtual targets, the statement read.
According to a Russian Defense Ministry statement cited by Interfax news agency at the time, the patrol involved fighter, fighter bombers and early warning and control aircraft.
Late last month, Russia dispatched attack helicopters and fighter jets to its base in Syria’s northeastern province of Hasakah upon a request from the Damascus government.
The decision came only days after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reaffirmed Moscow’s determination to support Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Lebanon’s al-Mayadeen television news network said then that Russia had sent reinforcements to its airbase near the Kurdish-majority city of Qamishli as part of a military buildup.
In 1967, the Zionist regime waged a full-scale war against Arab territories, during which it occupied a large swathe of Golan and annexed it four years later – a move never recognized by the international community.
In 1973, another war broke out and a year later a UN-brokered ceasefire came into force, according to which the Zionist regime and Syria agreed to create a buffer zone in Golan. However, the occupying regime has over the past several decades built dozens of illegal settlements in Golan in defiance of international calls for the regime to stop its illegal construction activities.