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Four officers from the Russian Special Operation Forces were awarded medals by the Russian President Vladimir Putin for showing extraordinary courage fighting the Islamic State in Syria’s Palmyra.

The honored officers were part of a unit comprised of 16 highly-trained soldiers, which were tasked sensitive surveillance mission and responsible for gathering accurate information about the jihadists’ positions and movements.

The unit, however, was discovered and fiercely attacked by the terror group. Four waves of attacks – waged by 300 militants –  have been carried out which involved the use of Grad MLRS, VBIEDs and ATGMs.

The unit repelled the attacks, killing at least 30 jihadists.

The Russian military helped the Syrian government forces regain control of the ancient city of Palmyra from the Islamic State twice; in March 2016 and 2017.