After months of being in Syria | Hundreds of members of the Russian-backed “25th Division” participate in Ukraine operations
SOHR’s sources inside the Russian-backed 25th Division “Special Operations”, which is led by Brigadier General Suhail Al-Hassan known as “Al-Namr” (Tiger), reported that hundreds of the division’s members, who have been in Ukraine for months, started participating in the fighting operations led by Russia against Ukraine.
According to reliable SOHR sources, the members started participating in the military operations within areas held by Russia in eastern of Ukraine, after they were moved from Syria to Russia through “Hamimim” Airport, and received military exercises during the past months. Moreover, many of them talk Russian after undergoing military courses in Russia last year before the start of the Russian military operations in Ukraine.
On September 15, SOHR sources confirmed that the Syrian “mercenaries” recruited by Russia to fight in its war against Ukraine were still in Russia and some of them are in eastern Ukraine.
The mission of the Syrian mercenaries was to protect their positions. None of the Syrian fighters had been involved in the military operations between Russia and Ukraine so far.
The sources added that the lack of mastery of the Russian language by mercenaries was the biggest obstacle to their participation in the first ranks of the fighting; very few of the Syrian mercenaries speak Russian fluently.
The number of Syrian mercenaries in Russia is 2000, according to SOHR sources.
On July 27, SOHR sources confirmed that Syrian “mercenaries,” whose numbers are estimated at 2000 mercenaries and were recruited by Russia in its war against Ukraine and transferred there, have not yet participated in Russian military operations in Ukraine.
Therefore, no Syrian mercenaries were killed in the Russian war on Ukraine so far.
On April 1, reliable sources told SOHR that batches of Syrian mercenaries accomplished intensive military training courses under the supervision of tens of Russian officers, regime officers and regime-backed commanders, where they are now ready to be transported to Ukraine, precisely the eastern part, to join the war alongside Russian forces. A batch of those mercenaries may were transported to Ukraine, but SOHR could not verify this information.
On the other hand, intensive military training courses were underway for Syrians who chose to be mercenaries in return for financial incentives. It is worth noting that these training drills escalated after the return of officers of the 25th Division, the Palestinian Liwaa Al-Quds, Al-Baath Battalion and the 5th Corps who participated in the reconnaissance tour in east Ukraine. These officers, whose number approximated 260, had visited east Ukraine in mid-March and stayed for days before they returned to Syria.