20:42 GMT04 December 2020
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    German Tornado jet fighters involved in reconnaissance flights over Syria have regularly been escorted by Russian warplanes.

    "They are very professional. No incidents have been reported," Lt. Gen. Joachim Wundrak told the German newspaper Rheinische Post.

    He underscored that German aircraft have not been intercepted. Advanced Russian jets like the Su-35S were involved in the missions.

    He described the move of the Russian Aerospace Forces as a "political demonstration." According to Wundrak, Russia wants to show that its actions have been legitimized by the Syrian government.

    He added that the Syria Air Forces have also intensified operations.

    The German Defense Ministry joined the counterterrorist operation in Syrian airspace on December 15, 2015. The operation has been held by an international anti-Daesh coalition. Two Tornado jet fighters were deployed to the Incirlik airbase in Turkey. The German mission will end on December 31, 2016 and will not include a boots-on-the-ground operation.

    Earlier, Gen. Lord Dannatt, ex-chief of the British General Staff, said the Russian campaign in Syria has proved effective against Daesh militants.

    "The Russians are coordinating with the Assad regime and are being very successful. From the air and on the ground, they are working in a coordinating fashion. Our problem is that we are working with the losers. Let's work with that regime. There may be an element of my enemy's enemy is my friend," Dannatt told the BBC.

    Russia launched its counterterrorist military operation in Syria on September 30, 2015, at the request of Syrian President Bashar Assad.


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