Europe

Putin says Russia can use Syria experience to update arsenal

  • Russian president Vladimir, right, congratulates newly appointed senior military staff in the Kremlin, in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016. Putin on Wednesday paid respects to Russian medics and a colonel who died while on duty in Syria. (Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

    Russian president Vladimir, right, congratulates newly appointed senior military staff in the Kremlin, in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016. Putin on Wednesday paid respects to Russian medics and a colonel who died while on duty in Syria. (Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Russian president Vladimir pauese, prior to a meeting with newly appointed senior military staff in the Kremlin, in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016. Putin on Wednesday paid respects to Russian medics and a colonel who died while on duty in Syria. (Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

    Russian president Vladimir pauese, prior to a meeting with newly appointed senior military staff in the Kremlin, in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016. Putin on Wednesday paid respects to Russian medics and a colonel who died while on duty in Syria. (Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

President Vladimir Putin says the Russian military should use its combat experience in Syria to further modernize its arsenals.

Speaking with senior military and security officers at the Kremlin on Wednesday, Putin said the Syrian campaign has proven the military's strength.

He urged the top brass to rely on the Syrian experience to "equip the Army and the Navy with prospective weapons."

Russia has conducted an air campaign in support of Syrian President Bashar Assad since September 2015.

The country's involvement has helped Syrian forces reverse the tide of the nation's devastating civil war and win some key ground, most recently in the city of Aleppo.

The Russian military has used the conflict to test an array of weapons, including long-range cruise missiles, for the first time in combat.