MOSCOW/WASHINGTON, – Russia said, its bombers took off from an Iranian airbase, to strike terrorist targets in Syria, in an unprecedented move that deepens its involvement in the Middle East and

underscores Moscow’s increasingly close ties with Tehran.

Russian defence ministry said that, Tu-22M3 long-range bombers and Su-34 frontline bombers, took off from Hamadan base in western Iran and “carried out a group air strike against the Daesh and Nusra Front terrorist

groups’ targets, in the provinces of Aleppo, Deir ez-Zor and Idlib.”

Su-30cm and Su-35s fighters, based in Hmeimim air base in Syria, provided cover for the mission, according to the ministry.

Five large warehouses with weapons, ammunition, fuel and lubricants, three command posts and several training camps have been destroyed, and a significant number of terrorists have been killed in the campaign, the ministry added.

It was the first time Russia has used the territory of another nation, apart from Syria itself, to launch such strikes since Moscow launched a bombing campaign against Daesh targets inside Syria last Sept.

The Iranian deployment will boost Russia’s image as a central player in the Middle East and allow the Russian air force to reduce flight times and increase bombing payloads.

Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, said that, Iran and Russia are “strategic” allies in fighting terrorism in Syria.

“Tehran-Moscow cooperation in the fight against terrorism in Syria is strategic and we exchange capacities and potentialities in this field,” Shamkhani said.

Shamkhani also said that, Iran will continue to provide military advice to countries plagued with terrorism, including Syria.

The Pentagon, on Tuesday, confirmed that the Russian military notified the US-led coalition, currently fighting the Daesh, before Russian bombers carried out air strikes in Syria from Iran.

“The Russians did notify the coalition, as per the memorandum of understanding (MoU) for safety of flight,” said Pentagon spokesman Christopher Garver, referring to the US-Russian MoU, signed last Oct, to avoid an inadvertent clash in Syrian airspace, during their own air strikes against terrorist targets there.

“They (Russians) activated that system, as we have in the past. They informed us they were coming through and we ensured safety of flight as those bombers passed through the area and toward their target and then when they passed out again,” Garver said at a press conference.

While he insisted that US-led coalition operations in either Iraq or Syria were not impacted during the time, Garver refused to comment on whether US aircraft had to be moved out of the path.

“We knew in time, when they activate the safety of flight memorandum of understanding instructions. It’s not a lot of time, but it’s enough, and it was enough time to make sure that we could ensure safety of flight,” said Garver.

Garver also declined to comment on whether the United States was aware of any major preparations on the Iranian base beforehand.

Source: Name News Network

syrianewsgazette.comNational news
MOSCOW/WASHINGTON, - Russia said, its bombers took off from an Iranian airbase, to strike terrorist targets in Syria, in an unprecedented move that deepens its involvement in the Middle East andunderscores Moscow's increasingly close ties with Tehran.Russian defence ministry said that, Tu-22M3 long-range bombers and Su-34 frontline bombers, took...