Russian Defence Ministry announced that its forces carried out military drills with the Free Syrian Army forces in suburbs of Aleppo, north of Syria.

Iran PressMiddle East: "The Russian military recently carried out a series of exercises, including the use of Syrian army tanks in Aleppo governorate," a statement reported by Aram Media said.

Russian soldiers corrected the mistakes of Syrian forces as they use their tanks, pointing out that some of the training needed to be repeated several times, the news site reported.

Russian military official Grigory Lazotkin said Syrian forces "are not the same as they were" at the start of the war.

"Today, the combat abilities of these forces are much higher than before … as a result of good training," Lazotkin said.

Syria has been significantly crippled by an eight-year war between pro-government troops, militants from various groups that oppose the administration of Syrian President Bashar Assad, and terrorist groups such as the Nusra Front and Daesh. The latter has lost ground in recent years due to massive operations carried out by the Syrian government.

The conflict in the country has produced an estimated 12-13 million refugees, with over 6 million internally displaced. Of the Syrians affected in one of the worst humanitarian crises on the planet - according to the United Nations - nearly half are children and require immediate and ongoing humanitarian assistance.

Russia, along with Turkey and Iran, is the guarantor of the ceasefire in war-torn Syria.