Russian military boosts qualified Syrian sappers to demine war-ravaged country
Russian servicemen have trained another group of Syrian combat engineers to clear the areas in the country liberated from terrorists. A total of 93 Syrian servicemen passed the fast-track exercise, TASS reported from the graduation ceremony for the course participants at the International Mine Action Center.
The training program aims to prepare combat engineers in the shortest possible period of time. “Here in the center they (the Syrian servicemen – TASS) underwent a one-month program to clear areas of explosive objects. We held practical and theoretical courses for them to study the means for searching and detecting explosive objects, as well as destroying munitions. They will apply this knowledge later on,” said Lieutenant Colonel Mikhail Bagrov, head of the branch of the International Mine Action Center.
The refugees still cannot return to their homes after Syria’s liberation from IS (outlawed in Russia) terrorists, because many areas are mined, and the Syrian army lacks combat engineers. “The main goal of the center’s opening was the need to prepare a great number of experts to clear the liberated territories of mines and explosive devices that terrorists planted in houses and along streets. We are grateful to the Russian army for the help in demining our territories and preparing Syrian combat engineers. It will help the civilians return to their homes sooner,” said head of the Syrian engineer force Lieutenant General Abdul Karim Aderi.
The main problem of the demining in Syria is the need to clear a great number of makeshift munitions and explosive devices camouflaged as children’s toys and everyday items, along with tripwire mines.
Tripwire mines are explosive devices that are detonated by triggering a taut wire attached to a grenade pin, mine or a shell. It is the most widely used mining method in Syria’s rural areas. Russian instructors teach Syrian combat engineers safe ways to demine tripwire mines with the help of simple and effective technical means: grappling hooks for minesweeping. “They can be thrown both manually and by a single shot from an automatic rifle,” course participant Muhammad Saleh Budel told reporters.
One branch of Russia’s International Mine Action Center opened in the Homs Governorate in April 2017. The other branch is operating in Aleppo. Russian servicemen trained almost 900 combat engineers for the Syrian army, using new methods of training taking into consideration the Syrian climate and soil. All course graduates receive Russian-made metal detectors and equipment.