The Palmyra Offensive in 2017 was a significant victory against ISIL, wherein Syrian National Forces, aided by Russian special forces, reclaimed the city of Palmyra. The KSSO, a branch of the Russian special forces, played a crucial role in several battles, demonstrating their adaptability and skill. In addition, the KSSO was instrumental during Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, characterized by the term “little green men”, highlighting their strategic importance and discreet operations.
- The Palmyra Offensive in 2017 saw the Syrian National Forces reclaim Palmyra with assistance from Russian special forces, including the KSSO.
- In Aleppo, 16 KSSO members fended off around 300 militants, causing them to retreat. Many of these KSSO forces received high-level Russian accolades.
- A KSSO operator, Denis Portnyagin, demonstrated exceptional bravery in Akerabat, fighting against about 40 insurgents mostly single-handedly and earning the Hero of Russia award.
- The KSSO’s involvement in Syria signals Russia’s intention of a prolonged power presence in the region.
- During Crimea’s annexation in 2014, the mysterious “little green men” – speculated to be members of KSSO – played a significant role in taking over strategic locations.