WATCH

Rare Footage of Russian Special Forces Operating in Syria

Russian TV says this is the first time such footage is aired. Elite Russian soldiers are seen carrying out assassinations, coordinating airstrikes, using robotic tanks and inspecting rebel bodies.

Russian television showed on Sunday what it said was the first footage of Russian special forces fighting on the ground in Syria.

Footage of Russian special forces operating in Syria.

Elite Russian units in Syria take part in search and rescue operations, assassinations of key rebel figures and coordination of airstrikes, according to footage broadcast on state-owned channel Rossiya 24 on Sunday. Groups of heavily armed soldiers were shown coordinating sniper attacks, using robotic tanks and inspecting rebel corpses.

The presenter of the weekly news program said the footage was filmed in Syria but did not give details.

Russia first acknowledged the presence of its special forces in Syria during the recapture of the city of Palmyra from Islamic State fighters in March, but it has provided no information on the number of deployed soldiers or their exact location.