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    Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu

    Russian Army to Use Syrian Campaign Experience in Combat Training - Shoigu

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    Defense Minister said that Russia's military experience gained during the anti-terrorist campaign in Syria must be incorporated into service personnel training.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) Russia's military experience gained during the anti-terrorist campaign in Syria must be incorporated into service personnel training, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Friday.

    "On December 1, the winter military exercise period started. The main efforts must be applied to increasing service personnel individual combat training performance… It is necessary to incorporate the experience of combat action in Syria," Shoigu said.

    The Defense Ministry will also incorporate the Syrian experience into Russia's military school programs, he added, noting that the main vectors of the military education program have been charted up to 2020.

    "Approaches were developed to actively incorporate the experience gained in Syria by the Aerospace Forces and the Navy into the combat experience learning process, as well as to implement modern education methods," the minister said.

    Russia started aerial anti-terrorist operations in Syria in September 2015 at the request of Syrian President Bashar Assad's government.

    In March, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the pullout of the bulk of the Russian contingent in Syria as the anti-terrorist campaign's objectives had broadly been completed. A limited number of troops remained at the Hmeimim airbase in Latakia.

    On October 7, Russia's lower house of parliament ratified an agreement with Syria that authorizes the deployment of a Russian air group at the Hmeimim airbase for an indefinite period of time. According to the document, Moscow may use the base "free-of-charge" and carry out supplies of necessary equipment and ammunition to the base without customs or any other duties.

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