In first, Russian bombers fly from Iran to hit Syria
search

In first, Russian bombers fly from Iran to hit Syria

First missions from Iranian airfields target weapons and fuel depots, command posts, Moscow says

A Russian long range bomber Tu-22M3 flies during a strike above an undisclosed location in Syria on Sunday, Aug. 14, 2015. (Russian Defense Ministry press service photo via AP)
A Russian long range bomber Tu-22M3 flies during a strike above an undisclosed location in Syria on Sunday, Aug. 14, 2015. (Russian Defense Ministry press service photo via AP)

MOSCOW, Russia — Russian warplanes on Tuesday flew out from an Iranian air base to conduct strikes against jihadist groups in war-torn Syria, the defense ministry in Moscow said.

The raids are the first Russia has reported carrying out from a base in Iran since the Kremlin launched its Syrian bombing campaign in support of long-time ally Bashar Assad last September.

“On August 16 Tu-22M3 long-range bombers and Su-34 frontline bombers, flying with a full bomb load from the Hamedan air base (Islamic Republic of Iran), conducted a group air strike against targets of the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist groups in the provinces of Aleppo, Deir Ezzor and Idlib,” the ministry said in a statement.

The strikes resulted in the destruction of “five large warehouses with weapons, ammunition and fuel” and jihadist training camps near Aleppo, Deir Ezzor, the village of Saraqeb in the Idlib region and Al-Bab, an IS-held town in Aleppo province, the statement said.

The bombing also targeted three command centers near the village of Jafra and Deir Ezzor, killing “a large number of fighters,” Moscow said.

Iran and Russia are the two firmest backers of the Assad regime and have opposed international calls for the Syrian leader to step down in a bid to resolve a civil war that has killed more than 290,000 people since it erupted in March 2011.

Iran is Assad’s main regional ally and has provided steady military, financial, and political support to the regime.

Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu claimed separately in comments aired Monday that Russia and the United States are also close to joining forces around Syria’s ravaged second city of Aleppo, where Russian planes and regime forces are battling rebels for control.

Fighting for the city has intensified after regime troops seized control of the last supply route into rebel-held areas in mid-July.

The increased fighting has raised concerns for the estimated 1.5 million civilians still in Aleppo, including some 250,000 in rebel-held areas.

Join us!
A message from the Editor of Times of Israel
David Horovitz

The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.

We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.

Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.

Become a member of The Times of Israel Community
read more:
comments