Russia's military capabilities demonstrated during its air campaign in Syria caught International observers and military analysts by surprise.
"What we saw in Syria was Russia set up a forward command in days at a small airstrip, move in 4 dozen aircraft, invite media to watch the whole thing, and begin combat operations with an air force that hadn't flown against an enemy in over 25 years," Gordon Duff, a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War and the chairman of the board of Veterans Today, writes in his article for the New Eastern Outlook.
"We watched planes that cost nothing wipe out targets America had missed or overlooked or that, according to American pilots, they weren't allowed to hit," he points out.
"It was the strategic and tactical aviation that carried out the most difficult and dangerous tasks, and military pilots have performed them perfectly," President Putin said during an awards ceremony in Moscow on March 17.
"Of course, we will continue to support the legitimate Syrian government. It will be financial aid, arms supplies, military training… It will be intelligence support, aid in the planning of operations, as well as direct support — the use of the Russian Aerospace Forces," the Russian President added.
Indeed, only ten days later, the Syrian Arab Army liberated the historic city of Palmyra — a UNESCO World Heritage site — from Daesh with the assistance of the Russian Air Forces.
Predictably, Moscow's successful operation in Syria has attracted a lot of interest from Russia's potential arms customers.
A number of Middle Eastern states have recently expressed their willingness to purchase the Russian Su-34 fighter-bomber, according to Sergei Goreslavsky, a Deputy Director General of the Russian state-run arms exporter Rosoboronexport.
"You see, despite good planes, even great planes, and we aren't talking about the F-35, the 'flying garbage truck,' America's corrupt military industrial complex uses the Air Force as a scam for bankrupting the US," Duff notes in his article, commenting on the Pentagon's failure to wipe terrorists out in Syria and Iraq.
The professionalism of the Russian pilots deserves high praise, Duff underscores. Although the Western media is trying to downplay Russia's achievements, "the real Americans who fight wars" admire the Russian Aerospace Forces for what they have done in Syria.
"American pilots wish they had been given the hot targets Russia destroyed instead of being forced to drop payloads of bombs on abandoned villages north of the Jordanian border as a Russian command report outlined in November 2015," the combat veteran stresses.
In addition, the Russian Air Force clearly demonstrated that should it be challenged by someone's military adventurism, it can counter the threat with great effectiveness, Duff remarks.
"Having proven this, Russia may actually save the world from a war both Russia and America don't want, something the settlement in Syria, a tremendous success of cooperation, has proven," the Marine combat veteran concludes.