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Su-24 Rescue Mission: How Erdogan Brought Syria's Allies Closer Than Ever

The shoot down of the Russian Su-24 reportedly precipitated a joint Hezbollah-Iran-Syria-Russia rescue mission

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If only two weeks ago anyone tried to conjecture about on the ground military cooperation between elite forces of Hezbollah, Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Syrian Special Forces and Russian GRU intelligence service, it would have been rightly dismissed as wishful, overly-optimistic thinking.

Nevertheless, the foolish and sinister downing of the Russian Su-24 bomber by America's NATO ally Turkey resulted in collaboration of precisely this type.

It's not completely clear who led the action - reportedly it was overseen by Iranians - meanwhile the actual squad tasked to save the pilot's life was composed of 18 soldiers from Syrian special forces reportedly joined by 6 Hezbollah men. Russia provided the cover necessary with three Mi-8 helicopters, satellite imagery, intelligence coverage and intense electronic disruption.

Iranians would have been well placed to help coordinate having extensive contacts
Iranians would have been well placed to help coordinate having extensive contacts

The operation ended with an important success: the group reached the pilot and brought him back to the nearest Syrian air base. Most important, there were no injuries and the intelligence gathered during the recovery allowed the Russian air force, 24 hours later, to carry out a massive strike that it says killed all the rebels involved in the killing of the Russian pilot.

 

 

With the recent deployment of the S-300 and S-400 system in Syria for Russia’s safety and the development of the Syrian air base in Sha'ayrat to accommodate over 100 Russian aircrafts, cooperation between allied forces in Damascus is bound to skyrocket and operations like the one we witnessed should become more and more common in the future.


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