Russia’s 6 months campaign in Syria was to test deadly weapons, boost sale
One economic outcome of the nearly 6-month military campaign in Syria for the Russian military was to market its deadly weapons on the account of Syrian people’s blood. While Russia’s stated mission in Syria was to fight terrorism, in reality the twin goals appear to have been to prop up the regime of Bashar al-Assad by bombing the West supported opposition while testing new military technologies. In a visit to a new state-owned arms manufacturing plant on Tuesday, President Vladimir Putin boasted about the commercial fruits of the Syria involvement. He said that the export of Russian military products totaled a better-than-expected $14.5 billion in 2015, adding that the total portfolio of foreign orders looks set to top $56 billion, according to statements released by the Kremlin. Russia entered the war in Syria on Sept. 30. Less than six months later, Putin ordered Russia’s main combat forces to withdraw on March 15, saying: 'I consider the objectives that have been set for the Defense Ministry to be generally accomplished.'
Vladimir Putin talks to employees of the 70th Victory Day Anniversary Plant in Nizhny Novgorod, March 29, 2016.
The export figure put forth by Putin Tuesday is significantly higher than that reported by Russia’s Kommersant newspaper on Monday. Citing Russian government and military sources, it estimated the 'marketing effect' of Moscow’s Syrian campaign would net arms contracts worth about $7.6 billion.
Countries doling out billions of dollars for Russian arms reportedly are Algeria, China, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Vietnam and Pakistan. Many orders include the popular Su-35 and 35s fighter jets, Su-32 bombers and the new Mi-28N Night Hunter attack helicopters, all of which displayed their capabilities by destroying houses and hospitals and killing hundreds of people in Syria. Putin on Monday added that new markets were being developed 'in Africa, Latin America, South Asia and the Middle East.' Some countries, including Iran are looking to buy Russian T-90 tanks, as well as state-of-the-art S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems, which were also deployed and used in Syria.
S-400 Triumf anti-aircraft missile system at the 70th Victory Day Anniversary Plant in Nizhny Novgorod
A picture shows two Russian S-400 Triumf missile systems at the Russian Hmeymim military base in Latakia province, in the northwest of Syria
The Russians first showcased their capability to launch Kalibr cruise missiles from a Russian diesel-electric submarine in its Caspian fleet to targets in Syria more than 1,000 miles away on Oct. 7 — Putin’s birthday.