Iranian Presidential Aide Welcomes Russia’s Use of Hamadan Air Base

 

August 30 – Iranian presidential adviser called for Russia using the Iranian air base of Hamadan to fight terrorism in Syria. Senior Iranian presidential adviser Ali Younesi called Tuesday for Russia using the Iranian air base of Hamadan to fight terrorism in Syria. “I consider this military cooperation which is carried out to counter the threat of terrorism important, strategic and essential… I am a I am a staunch advocate of this cooperation and hope that this cooperation is correct,” Younesi said answering a question on Russia using the base to fight terrorism.

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A Firm Syrian Commitment: Putin proposes permanent Air Force Base

 

August 9th, 2016 – Fort Russ News –
RIA – translated by J. Flores –


Editor’s note: This development which occurs on the same day as the Putin-Erdogan meeting cannot be understood out of that context. We implore our readers to ‘connect the dots’ as we build our data set and publish an overall assessment at the earliest possible time. – JF

Today (August 9th), Vladimir Putin submitted to the State Duma a proposal on the permanent deployment of the Russian air group in Syria.
Moscow and Damascus in the last year agreed to the indefinite placement of the air combat group. The document has been approved by the Russian government, now the agreement must be ratified by the parliament.
Russia will have free use of the Hmeymim air base
 
 
The text of the agreement states that Russia has been donated the base, will have at its disposal the airfield Hmeymim with all its infrastructure. In this period, the deployment of Russian aircraft and helicopters is not limited.
Now it only remains to be determined the status of the areas immediately adjacent to the airfield, which will house the Russian military.
Russian VKS has been based in Hmeymim since the beginning of the operation against ISIS.
The State Duma pledges support
Chairman of the State Duma Defense Committee Vladimir Komoedov already said that MPs would support this agreement with Damascus.
“Syria will be troubled for a long time, so it is necessary to keep the forces in combat readiness, as we have always kept Tartus as a supply point of our naval forces in the Mediterranean Sea, we are now adding the Hmeymim air base “,RIA Novosti quoted the deputy as saying.
Komoedov added that Russia is ready to assist the Government of Syria in restoring the integrity of its state.

Russian Aerospace Forces ‘Breaking Backbone’ of Int’l Terrorism in Syria

Russian Aerospace Defense Forces' Su-30SM fighter escorts a Tu-160 bomber which fired cruise missiles at ISIS targets in Syria

 

The Russian Aerospace Forces are successfully carrying out their operations in Syria fighting with the international terrorism.

DUBROVICHI AIRFIELD (Russia) — The Russian Aerospace Forces, successfully carrying out their operations in Syria, are “breaking the backbone” of the international terrorism, the Forces’ Commander Col. Gen. Viktor Bondarev said on Saturday.

“The Aerospace Forces became the most powerful branch of Russia’s armed forces thanks to the attention of the country’s leadership. We receive advanced weaponry and military equipment in due time. This is why the Aerospace Forces are successfully breaking the backbone of international terrorism in the Syrian Arab Republic,” Bondarev said opening the finals of the Aviadarts international flight skills competition.

He added that the International Army Games and Aviadarts competition peacefully demonstrate the military capabilities of the latest combat aircraft and helicopters.

The Russian Aerospace Forces were established on August 1, 2015, after the Russian Air Force was merged with the Russian Aerospace Defense Forces.

On September 30, 2015, Moscow began its anti-terror campaign in Syria on Damascus’ request, during which the Russian Aerospace Forces conducted precision airstrikes against the targets of the Daesh terrorist group, outlawed in many countries, including Russia.

In mid-March, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to start withdrawing most of Russia’s military contingent from Syria after accomplishing its objective, while leaving a minor residual force.

Beijing’s Armed Fighter Jet of the Future Filmed In-Flight

L15-05 trainer plane takes off at Qingyunpu airport in Nanchang

 

The Hongdu Aviation Industries Group celebrated its 65th anniversary by unveiling an advanced L-15 Falcon trainer jet equipped with bombs and radar, thought to be a passive electronically scanned array (PSEA), that will help accuracy in airborne combat.

The Falcon has not been known to carry weapons, until the Hongdu video was released and made the rounds on Chinese websites earlier this month. In the video, the jet can be seen with a centered-fuselage pod carrying a 23 mm cannon, PL-5II air-to-air missiles, and underwing fuel tanks.

Hongdu, a subsidiary of the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), had originally developed the L-15 as a lead-in fighter trainer (LIFT), and according to company literature that version featured “afterburning engines, high-performance fire control radar, and weapons-carrying capacity for combat missions.”

According to airforce-technology.com, the current iteration of the Falcon is a little over a decade in the making.

“The initial prototype was rolled out in September 2005 and took its maiden flight in March 2006,” the site states. “The second prototype completed its first flight in May 2008. The first and second prototypes are powered by two ZMKB-Progress (Lotarev) DV-2 engines. An improved version, the DV-2F, which boasts of afterburner capabilities, was fitted in the third model. Ukraine’s Ivchenko-Progress AI-222K-25F turbofan engines with afterburner are incorporated in the later L-15 versions.”

At the Singapore Airshow in February, International Assessment and Strategy Center senior fellow Richard Fisher said the LIFT was already being redesigned as a multirole craft. The model seen at the airshow had a Luoyang SD-10 self-guided medium range air-to-air missile (AAM) and a PL-5 short-range AAM, along with a precision-guided bomb.

“As the chined nose of the L-15 has not been modified on this model, it could also be that AVIC/Hongdu intend to equip the L-15 with a small active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, which would boost its combat potential,” he said, adding that the Falcon currently comes with pulse-doppler radar.

The craft will be used by the China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) under the name JL-10. The PLAAF  first ordered four Hongdu L-15 trainer aircraft in April 2006.  The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has expressed interest in the L-15  as a replacement for its K-8 Karakorum jet trainer. Venezuela recently announced plans to order 24 of the craft, and the Zambian Air Force ordered 6.

 

Russian SU-25SM attack aircraft returned to the airbase in Kirgizia after night combat firing over the Urals

 

Wing of modernized Su-25SM attack aircraft returned to the Kant Russian airbase located in Kirgizia after carrying out training flights over the Urals.

Pilots conducted 3.500 km flight from the Shagol airbase (Chelyabinsk Region) with an average speed of 750 km/h with 2 refuelings (in Novosibirsk and Karaganda)

During 2 weeks, Su-25 SM crews practiced rocket firing on land targets at day- and nighttime at the Safakulevo air range (Kurgan Region). The targets simulated illegal armed formations and columns of their automobile technologies on march.

The main flights aim is improving crews air training on the unfamiliar area.

Russian pilots also took part in the flypast on May 9 in Yekaterinburg. The parade wing flew over the centre of the city at the altitude of 250 m with the speed of 400 km/h.

Russia’s ‘surprise & unexpected’ Syria withdrawal welcomed as signal for ‘true peace process’

 

Su-24 Fencer tactical bomber prepares for takeoff from the Hmeimim airbase in Lattakia, Syria. © Ramil Sitdikov
International political leaders have welcomed the Russian military pullout from Syria, and while many have called the Kremlin’s decision “unexpected,” it is seen as clearing the way for dialogue at a time when a truce in five-year-old war is being negotiated in Geneva.

Acknowledging that five months of military campaigns have mostly succeeded in their primary objective of eliminating the immediate wider threat from Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), President Vladimir Putin has ordered the partial withdrawal of Russian armed forces from Syria.

Russia has placed its strategic emphasis on establishing a diplomatic effort, with Putin instructing the Foreign Ministry to intensify Moscow’s participation in organizing the peace process to resolve the Syrian crisis, which is about to enter its sixth year.

After announcing partial Russian withdrawal, President Putin, explained to his American counterpart in a phone conversation that the decision will “certainly serve as a good signal to all conflicting sides and create conditions for the start of a true peace process,” the Kremlin said in a statement.

The timing of the Russian decision is crucial as vital negotiations to avert further bloodshed in Syria resumed on Monday in Geneva. The last round of negotiations collapsed in January because the opposition block refused to debate their differences as Russian air raids intensified near the northern Syrian city of Aleppo.

Obama welcomed the “much-needed reduction in violence” since the cease-fire took effect late last month, the White House said in a statement about Monday’s phone call. “The president underscored that a political transition is required to end the violence in Syria,” the White House added.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier also welcomed Moscow’s announcement saying it will put additional pressure on parties in Geneva to negotiate a peaceful transition to end the Syrian turmoil.

“This will increase the pressure on the al-Assad regime to finally and seriously negotiate a peaceful political transition in Geneva,” Steinmeier said in a statement.

Comments also came from the Iranian Foreign Ministry.

“The fact that a semi-ceasefire has been holding in Syria is welcome news, it’s something that we’ve been asking for at least two-and-a-half, three years,” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said at a meeting with his Australian couterpart Julie Bishop in Canberra.

“The fact that Russia announced that it’s withdrawing part of its forces indicates that they don’t see an imminent need for resort to force in maintaining the ceasefire,” he added. “That in and of itself should be a positive sign. Now we have to wait and see.”

While Russia plans to maintain a military presence at its naval base in Tartous and the Khmeymim airbase, Moscow’s decision to reduce its military involvement in Syria has already been welcomed by the Syrian opposition currently negotiating in Geneva.

“If there is seriousness in implementing the withdrawal, it will give the talks a positive push,” said Salim al-Muslat, spokesman for the rebel High Negotiations Committee. “If this is a serious step it will form a major element of pressure on the regime, because the Russian support prolonged the regime. Matters will change significantly as a result of that.”

What is also important is that the move has been well received by all members of the UN Security Council, who have been working tirelessly on the diplomatic front to secure peace in Syria.

“We have also taken very good note of the decision by the Russians to start withdrawing part of these forces,” the Security Council’s rotating president, Angola’s Ambassador Ismael Abraao Gaspar Martins, told reporters. “When we see forces withdrawing, it means war is being taking a different step. So that’s good.”

However, despite the careful timing of Putin’s announcement that is clearly aimed at cementing the fragile ceasefire in Syria, the Kremlin’s decision has been called “a surprise move,” by the New York Times, which hypothesizes that the Russian decision was conditioned by the rift between Moscow and Damascus.

“There have been growing signs of differences between Russia and the Syrian government over the Geneva talks, which Moscow has pressed hard for along with Washington,” NYT wrote.

In reality the Russian initiative to withdraw received full support from the Syrian government before the announcement was made.

“The president of Syria noted the professionalism, courage and heroism of the Russian service personnel who took part in the military operations, and expressed his profound gratitude to Russia for providing such substantial help in fighting terrorism and providing humanitarian assistance to the civilian population,” the Kremlin said commenting on the phone call between Putin and Assad.

The Wall Street Journal has dubbed Moscow’s withdrawal an “unexpected announcement.”

“US officials said any withdrawal of Russian forces from Syria would come as a complete surprise and that the US government hadn’t expected Moscow to announce such a move,” WSJ said.

Stratfor, a global intelligence think tank, has also used the term “unexpected withdrawal,” to describe Putin’s decision. At the same time, their report acknowledged that Moscow has achieved its stated agenda.

“With their actions in Syria thus far, the Russians have showcased their improved combat capabilities and some new, previously unused weapons… Russia has also largely achieved its goal of weakening Islamic State…” the Stratfor report reads. “All in all, Islamic State may not be entirely defeated, but its forces in Syria and Iraq are much weaker than they were five months ago.”

Report of the Russian Centre for reconciliation of opposing sides in the Syrian Arab Republic (March 7, 2016)

General information on the application of measures for the reconciliation of opposing sides

In the course of last 24 hours, preliminary ceasefire agreements have been achieved with 5 commanders of armed units with total staff up to 550 men active in the Damascus province.

In total, 35 ceasefire application forms have been signed with leaders of armed groupings.

Negotiations with leaders of 4 armed formations active in the provinces of Damascus, Daraa and Hama are being held.

Total number of towns, which had joined the ceasefire agreements, remained 42 ones.

Results of ceasefire monitoring

In the course of last 24 hours, 8 ceasefire violations have been registered (Hama – 2, Aleppo, Idlib – 3 in each).

Attacks on Fua and Kafria (Idlib province) are continued.

Thus, on March 6, 2016 on 5 p.m. – 6.30 p.m. Ahrar al-Sham militants performed two attacks on Fua city sections from fire positions located near Minish by mortars and antitank guided missiles.

Russian Aerospace Forces and Syrian Air Forces did not make strikes on armed formations, which follow ceasefire regime and informed the Russian or American Centres for reconciliation about their location.

Humanitarian aid to the population of Syria

Officers of the Russian Centre for reconciliation and representatives of reconciliation commission, elders and public representatives of Ruheiba (Damascus province) held a working meeting.

Forming of another humanitarian convoy is continued.

Additional information

Working teleconference session with the Chief of the American Coordination Centre in Amman, representative of the international support group of Syria in Geneva, and representative of the US defence department, who covers Middle East region, took place.

The session participants discussed situation in different regions of the Syrian Arab Republic, ceasefire observing and violations, and issues concerning providing humanitarian aid to the Syrian people.

Terrorists are still taking efforts to set back the peacemaking process in Syria.

Jabhat al-Nusra militants carried out several mortar attacks against Turkish territory near Metishli on March 6, 2016.

Actions performed by terrorists are aimed to provoke fire in response of the Turkish military and to bring troops into the Syrian territory. That will unfailingly tear down the ceasefire.

A number of ISIS formations have concentrated in the Turkish territory near Nusaybin (1.5 far from the Syrian border). Terrorists are preparing for the attack against Kamyshliyah, which is located on the Syrian territory and populated with Syrian Kurds.

Near Narb Nafsa (Hama province), terrorists filmed demonstrating conflict between two armed groupings.

They used small arms, incendiary bottles and different imitation means. The video is to be used to accuse the Syrian army of violating ceasefire.

Jund al-Malihash militants blocked roadway between Nahtah and al-Harak (Daraa province). They stop automobiles with civilians and threaten their life for refusing to participate in the combat actions.

The facts are the evidence that terrorists and several illegal armed groups active in Syria take efforts to set back ceasefire regime in the Syrian territory.