The Russians have consistently denied that their troops are involved in any ground fighting in Syria, and if their special forces troops were involved in the recapture of the ‘Aleppo artillery base’ then on the face of it that would contradict this.
However it has now become common international practice to treat special forces soldiers differently from other soldiers, so that denials of a country’s participation in ground fighting apparently does not extend to them. A good example is the recently confirmed presence of British special forces troops in Syria, which has come after months of denials by the British government that British ground troops would be sent to Syria.
The Russian military did deploy a small number of Russian elite naval infantry (supposedly and depending upon reports between 80 and 120 men) to Aleppo a few days ago, purportedly to participate in humanitarian operations there. It could be that this deployment was used as cover for the deployment of the special forces troops who have now been photographed in the ‘Aleppo artillery base’, and who may have been involved in its recapture.
They would have made up only a small proportion of the mainly Syrian troops who recaptured the base. Whilst they might have been involved in some of the actual fighting, they are more likely to have exercised command, control and surveillance functions, assisting the Syrian troops who fought to recapture the base.