„Russia and Hezbollah have begun ‚official‘ military coordination in Syria at the behest of Moscow, according to a report published Thursday on a pro-Hezbollah news site. The pro-Hezbollah Lebanese website al-Akhbar reported that Hezbollah officials met with ‚senior‘ Russian officers in the embattled city of Aleppo last week in the ‚first official and direct‘ meeting between the two sides since the start of Moscow’s year-long military involvement in the Syrian civil war. The report notes that Russian and Hezbollah officials have met before in non-official capacities, such as in battle operations rooms.
The meeting, reportedly arranged by Russia, was said to have established ‚continual‘ communication and shared channels between the two sides over what’s happening on the battlefield and includes future plans. Russia is especially interested in coordinating with Hezbollah’s infantry on the ground in Aleppo, where airstrikes are less effective in the densely packed city, the report said. The Iranian-backed militia is estimated to have 6,000-8,000 fighters in Syria, but some analysts think the number could be higher.“