Russia says it has 'tested' more than 200 new weapons in Syria

Russia says it has 'tested' more than 200 new weapons in Syria
A Russian MP has claimed Moscow's forces have trialled more than 200 new weapons in Syria, making the war-torn country a testing ground for Russian weaponry.
2 min read
22 February, 2018
Russian fighter jets and choppers have been extensively used in Syria [Getty]
Syria towns and cities have become a testing ground for the latest Russian military technology, a lawmaker said Thursday.

Former Russian commander, now MP, Vladimir Shamanov told parliament that more than 200 new weapons - developed by Moscow scientists - have been tried out in Syria during the country's seven-year war, which has cost over half-a-million lives.

"As we helped the brotherly Syrian people, we tested over 200 new types of weapons," he told the Duma.

Shamanov hinted that the weapons had been so "successful" that the Syrian regime had ordered stockpiles - no doubt to be used on their own people.

The selling power of Russian firepower - which has been on display during the five-day slaughter in Eastern Ghouta this week - is something Moscow should be "proud of", Shamanov claimed.

"It's not an accident that today they are coming to us from many directions to purchase our weapons, including countries that are not our allies," he said. "Today our military-industrial complex made our army look in a way we can be proud of," he said.

Russia provides the bulk of the Syrian regime's arsenal, which has been used extensively during the war.

Fighting was sparked in 2011 after peaceful protests were brutally suppressed by regime troops leading to mass defections from the Syrian army. 

Russia joined the war in 2015, after forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad suffered a series of military defeats against the rebels.

Since Russian air strikes began, regime forces have managed to push the opposition back to a number of enclaves but the cost has be​en devastating for civilians.

Watch: Russian firepower has been on display in
Eastern Ghouta this week [The New Arab Exclusive]

Hundreds of thousands of civilians have likely died from daily shelling, air strikes and barrel bomb attacks.

In the latest regime offensive, 400 civilians in Eastern Ghouta have been killed in just five days of heavy bombing.

Russia has denied any role in the carnage but its jets have been spotted flying overhead the besieged opposition enclave during the bombardments.

This week, new Russian military aircraft - including the country's first stealth jet fighter - were seen arriving in Syria's Latakia province.

In addition to the semi-permanent airbase in the west of Syria, Russia also has access to a naval port in Tartous.

In 2016, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu hailed the country's military technology, saying the Syria war was a good opportunity to test new weaponry.

Other Russian officials and military commanders have echoed this claim.

Russia has also tested cruise missiles fired from submarines in the Mediterranean.