Dec 03, 2016 08:57 UTC
  • A handout picture taken on April 7, 2016 and obtained from the Russian Defense Ministry's official website on April 8, 2016, shows a Russian army sapper working in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra. (Photos by AFP)
    A handout picture taken on April 7, 2016 and obtained from the Russian Defense Ministry's official website on April 8, 2016, shows a Russian army sapper working in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra. (Photos by AFP)

Russia has dispatched a bomb disposal unit to Syria to help demine the liberated eastern parts of the flashpoint city of Aleppo, the Russian Defense Ministry says.

“An advance unit of the international anti-mining center of the Russian Armed Forces has flown to Syria to participate in the humanitarian demining of districts in eastern Aleppo liberated from the terrorists,” the ministry said in a statement, RT reported on Friday.  

The statement further said that the bomb disposal unit “is fully autonomous and is equipped with the most advanced demining tools and means of protection.”

According to Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Lieutenant General Sergei Rudskoi, more than 200 servicemen and 47 units of combat and special equipment would be involved in clearing the newly-liberated areas of the city from mines and booby traps.

The former commander of the Russian engineering troops, Colonel-General Nikolai Serdtsev, described the bomb disposal mission in Aleppo as much more “complicated” than the one carried out in Palmyra city, in the Central Province of Homs, back in April and May.

He added that Russian sappers in Aleppo could not use unmanned ground vehicles, such as the Uran-6 bomb disposal robots, which were employed in Palmyra. 

“Robots work on search of metal, and there the whole [city] is inundated with armature. Spoons, forks, everything will be indicated and it will be extremely problematic to operate for mine detectors,” Serdtsev told the Interfax news agency on Wednesday.

According to the Russian military, around 18,000 explosive objects were defused, and over 8,500 booby-trapped houses were cleared by the Russian demining troops in Palmyra. In addition, over 800 hectares of territory, 23 kilometers of roads and 10 sites of historic heritage were cleared of explosives during the mission.

ME

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