Russia Reinvigorating Air Force’s Combat Capabilities in Syria

Russia Reinvigorating Air Force's Combat Capabilities in Syria

      A Russian daily said that Moscow is expanding its air power in Syria to have a stronger presence in the war on ISIL and meantime prevent the Turkish army’s increasing operations in Northern Syria.

The Russian language Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily quoted Syrian sources as saying that four multi-function Sukhoi-34 bomber-fighters left Russia and arrived in Humeimim airbase in Syria in recent days to be used for fresh anti-terrorism missions.

The Russian daily further quoted the Turkish language Anadolu news agency as saying that a secret meeting hosted by the Russian generals has been held at Humeimim airbase between the representatives of the Syrian government and Syria’s Kurdish fighters to explore new avenues to prevent the Turkish army’s further advances in Northern Syria.

Satellite images displayed in January that Moscow was strengthening its military presence in Syria despite earlier allegations that it was retreating a part of its troops from the country, Russian and Arab media disclosed.

Russia’s Interbirtermag magazine was quoted by a number of Arab media as disclosing that Moscow did not decrease its military forces in Syria, and rather increased them.

Hadath news, Islam message daily and a host of other Arabic-language media quoted the Russian outlet as reporting that satellite images showed Russia reinvigorated its military presence in Syria and intensified its operations against terrorists regardless of Moscow’ declared plan to withdraw its naval fleet led by Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier from Syrian waters.

New images released on January 5 showed several Russian cargo ships carrying military vehicles heading towards Syria, according to the reports.

The new images also showed deployment of Russia’s Alexander Ballistic Missiles that were also capable of carrying atomic warheads, the Arab media reports said.

The magazine underlined that most of the Russian fighter jets (involved in war in terrorism in Syria) take off and land in Humeimim airbase and not from Admiral Kuznetsov, adding that withdrawal of the aircraft carrier would have a minor impact on Russia’s mission in Syria.

The magazine wrote that Admiral Kuznetsov’s operation was not cost-effective and meantime, its withdrawal will decrease West’s pressure on Russia and will also show off Moscow’s intention of taking its military forces out of Syria.

Russian General Vyacheslav Bobov underlined in January that the Russian fleet of warships, including Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, which were about to leave the Eastern waters of the Mediterranean Sea in coming weeks would be fully ready to return to Syria in case needed.

The Russian General warned that in case any incident arises to halt the diplomatic settlement of the Syrian crisis, Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, the fighter jets on board and other accompanying warships will return to Syrian waters immediately.

Yet, he said Syria’s current situation allowed the Russian fleet to return to its base back at home.

Bobov underscored that there was no plan for a complete withdrawal of the Russian military from Syrian, although the Russian military capability would be reduced after some main objectives were achieved in the war on terrorism.

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