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Moscow says Syria campaign shows 'reliability' of Russian arms

AFP , Thursday 6 Oct 2016
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Moscow's year-long bombing campaign in Syria has showcased the "reliability" of Russian weaponry, as the Kremlin has helped stabilise the war-ravaged country, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said Thursday.

"In that period we have managed to stabilise the situation in the country (and) liberate a significant part of the territory from armed international terrorist groups," Shoigu told a conference.

"Many types of modern weapons produced in our country were tested in difficult desert conditions and generally have shown their reliability and effectiveness."

Russia launched its military operation in Syria last September to back up long-time ally Bashar al-Assad to Western ire, helping to shore up the regime's embattled forces.

Moscow has used Syria as a testing-ground for a range of new weaponry including long-range missiles fired from ships, submarines and warplanes.

Those include the X-101 rocket that has a range of 4,500 kilometres (2,800 miles) and was fired from bombers that took off from bases in Russia, Shoigu said.

Built on the foundations of its Soviet-era predecessor, Russia's arms industry is a key source of income for the country and brought in some $14.5 billion (13 billion euros) in 2015.

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