Interesting article about Su-30SM in Syria although not really logical. Su-30SM have TV and laser designating channel in IRST to engage ground targets, but it doesn't have enough negative elevation to designate for others, specially when Su-34 and Su-24M2 could do that job better with their EO targeting complexes and Su-35 could do that job for itself. Most probably Su-30SM work as a command plane, where WSO in back seat coordinate the work of the group and deliver targets to other planes in the group through data link network. But again, Su-34 could do this job as well. This article could only have a sense if Su-30SM in Syria are equipped with new targeting pods and when it do air protection of the group, WSO search for targets with targeting pod and deliver targets to other planes in the group. I don't think, they need Su-30SM as a mediator for delivering targets detected by UAVs.
Anyway, Su-30SM equipped with Khibiny ECM pods and targeting pod will be really capable fighter and fighter-bomber, specially when work networked with others in group.