Ukraine sent special forces to Syria to attack Russians there, revealing a new front to the war: report

  • Ukraine has deployed special forces to Syria to fight Russian mercenaries there, per the Kyiv Post.

  • They are backing Syrian rebels in fighting the Assad regime in the southwest, per the outlet.

  • Ukraine is also fighting Wagner mercenaries in Sudan, the outlet previously reported.

Ukraine has deployed special forces units to Syria to combat Russians there, according to the Kyiv Post.

Ukrainian special forces are fighting side by side with Syrian rebels against Russian mercenaries and Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime in the Middle Eastern country, the outlet reported.

It released a video obtained from sources within the Ukrainian Main Directorate of Intelligence.

According to the outlet, the video, dated March 2024, shows Ukrainian special forces targeting Russian checkpoints, strongholds, foot patrols, and convoys of military equipment in southwest Syria.

The Ukrainian soldiers used rocket-propelled grenades, improvised "Tarab" mortars, and what looks like command wire or radio-controlled improvised explosive devices in the attacks, the outlet reported.

An unnamed Ukrainian intelligence source told the outlet that the troops had backed Syrian rebels in carrying out multiple strikes on Russian military facilities since the start of the year.

The Ukrainian Main Directorate of Intelligence didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

Russia has been involved in Syria's civil war since 2015, when it launched a military intervention after the country's president requested support against opposition and the Islamic State.

By the end of April 2018, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that Russian aerial bombings had directly killed more than 7,700 civilians, a quarter of them children, as well as 4,749 opposition fighters and 4,893 members of ISIS.

Ukraine's military presence in Syria, however, has not been reported until now.

According to Alexander Libman, a professor of Russian and East European Politics at the Free University of Berlin, their presence in Syria would be "deeply" surprising as Ukraine faces "major" manpower issues on the battlefield back home.

"Sending any troops away from the country would be indeed rather strange," he told BI.

Even so, this is not the first time Ukrainian special forces have been seen fighting outside Ukraine.

Ukrainian special forces were reportedly seen interrogating captured Wagner mercenaries in Sudan in an undated video shared by the Kyiv Post in February.

Sergey Sukhankin, a senior fellow at the Jamestown Foundation, told BI at the time that the operation may have been part of "some sort of tacit agreement" between Western allies and Ukraine to battle Russian mercenaries in Africa, in exchange for certain military backing for Ukraine in its war against Russia.

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