Putin: Syria action shows Russian military power
President Vladimir Putin said Russia's air campaign in Syria has proven the military's increased combat readiness and capability.
Putin said at a meeting with defence officials that "the counter-terrorism operation we are conducting on the Syrian leadership's request has proven that".
Russia has deployed several dozen jets at an air base in the Syrian coastal province of Latakia, which have flown more than 1,600 combat missions since September 30.
Moscow has said that its aircraft have targeted the Islamic state group and other terrorist organisations, but Washington and its NATO allies have criticised Russia for targeting moderate rebel groups fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Putin said yesterday that Russia's military modernisation programme has been successfully implemented, with defence plants churning out new jets, missiles, navy ships, and other weapons.