Moscow, 17 Aug 2016 – To intensify its fight against terrorism, Russia has deployed its war planes at the Iranian airbase to launch attacks on ISIS in Syria. The Supreme National Security Council of Iran hailed the Russo-Iranian co-operation as “strategic”. Russia and Iran who have backed Assad regime have for the first time come together in the Syrian conflict.
Russia’s Ministry of Defence has revealed this information for the first time. The Russian defence officials confirmed that its war planes are staging from an airbase in Iran‘s north-western province of Hamadan. Russian Defence Ministry also reported of deploying Tu-22-M3 long-range bombers and Sukhoi-34 strike fighters. They however refrained from informing on how long these warplanes were staged here. Launching from Hamadan, the Russian fighters launched air strikes on targets in Syria.
The Russian Defence Ministry informed of the air strikes being carried out against terrorist groups of ‘Islamic State’ and ‘Jabhat al-Nusra”. The war planes hit the targets in the cities of Aleppo, Deir ez-Zor, Saraqib and Idlib where terrorists hold sway. These attacks have led to a major bloodshed, killing significant numbers. However the toll remains unknown. The Spokesperson of the Russian Defence Ministry also confirmed to have destroyed the command centres, training camps and ammunition depots of the terrorists.
One of the Iranian websites has released some exclusive photos of the deployed Russian bombers at the Hamadan airbase. It also shows the military transport plane IL-76. Iran has welcomed this strategic move of Russia and made it clear that the use of Hamadan airbase is a result of the agreement between Russia and Iran to combat terrorism in Syria. The agreement was reportedly signed during the tour of the Russian Defence Minister to Iran in the month of January.
This newly signed military agreement to make use of the Iranian airbase allows Russian fighter planes to reduce their flight time. Previously, Syrian airbases were used by Russia. But they seemed inappropriate and hence these bombers had to take off from Russia’s Modzok airbase which required flying 2000 km.as compared to the Hamadan airbase which requires approximately 700 km. The reduced flight time would not only intensify the airstrikes but also increase its effectiveness.
According to Russia and Iran, to maintain stability in Syria, it is essential for the Bashar Assad Government to remain in power. Russia and Iran have acted upon terrorists working against Assad government and also upon the US-supported rebel groups. This was never done before and hence this bilateral co-operative stand is considered crucial.
Meanwhile, Russia has appealed to Iran and Iraq to permit them the use of their airspace to launch ‘cruise missile’ attacks. Previously, Russia had launched 26 missiles in Syria from the Black Sea.