Russia’s Tupolev-95MSM bomber delivers first-ever strike on mission to Syria

© Yury Smityuk/TASS

MOSCOW, November 17. /TASS/. An upgraded strategic bomber Tupolev-95MSM on Thursday delivered the first-ever strike with X-101 cruise missiles while on a mission to destroy the strongholds of terrorist groupings in Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry said at its official channel in YouTube.

No reports on the dispatches of these turboprops in strikes at terrorists in Syria were made earlier.

The Russian Aerospace Force put the first upgraded Tupolev-95MSM into service in August 2015. It received the codename Dubna, after a town in the Moscow region, which is an internationally known center of nuclear research in Russia.

The video shows that two bombers as a minimum took off from a Russian airbase. An older of the Tupolev-95 family of turboprops, a Tupolev-95MS codenamed Vorkuta, joined the modernized bomber on the flight to Syria.

 

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MP says no need for Russia to use Iranian airfields for Syria operation

© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

TEHRAN, November 14. /TASS/. The Russian air task force’s operation in Syria requires no use of Iranian airfields now, Head of the Defense and Security Committee in the Federation Council (the upper house of Russia’s parliament) Viktor Ozerov said on Monday.

“After we have ratified the agreement on our military air base in Syria, there is no need today to use in any degree Iranian air harbors,” the senator said.

It is possible, however, to return to the issue of using Iranian aerodromes, if the situation changes, he noted.

“Today, there is no such need,” the senator said.

 

Admiral Kuznetsov Carrier Group Saved Syria From US Cruise Missile Strikes

 

 Transit of Russian Northern Fleet aircraft carrier group through the Norwegian Sea and the North Sea

    Moscow’s decision to send a fleet of warships, led by the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, to the eastern Mediterranean may have saved the Syrian military from getting bombed by the US, according to military expert Vladimir Evseev.

    Speaking at a press conference at the Rossiya Segodnya news agency press center in Moscow, Evseev, the deputy director of Russia’s CIS Institute, pointed out that Washington had only recently considered the possibility of attacking Syrian government forces, using the pretext of a UN report which alleged that Damascus had used chemical weapons.

   “We recently lived through a very important milestone which many people did not even notice,” the analyst suggested. “Why was the question raised of the Syrian Army’s alleged use of chemical weapons? The stage was being set for [US] ship-based cruise missile strikes. According to some reports, such a decision was in play…[Western] public opinion was actively being prepared for it.”

   But the entry of a major Russian flotilla, led by the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, into the Mediterranean may been the essential element needed to cool the Pentagon’s appetites, Evseev added.

    “The presence of our ships [between Algeria and Italy] excludes the possible deployment of a similar NATO naval group in the area. Factually, our ships have closed Syria off. The Russian ships did not appear where they are by accident, and eliminated the possibility of launching cruise missiles from that direction.”

    The analyst also recalled that earlier, S-300 systems “were deployed in Tartus” with similar goals in mind, given that they are “capable of addressing not only air-based threats, but ballistic targets as well.”

    Last week, the contents of a leaked report submitted to the UN Security Council blamed the Syrian government for a chemical attack in Idlib in 2015. Damascus vehemently denied the charges, citing the terrorists’ own regular use of poison gas. Moscow, meanwhile, stressed that more serious evidence would need to be presented before such serious accusations could be leveled. Why Does Media Cover Up War Crimes of ‘Rebels’ in Aleppo?

    The US and NATO allies, already engaged in a campaign to demonize Syria and Russia over the fight for Aleppo, used the report to pile on to other charges that Damascus and Moscow were responsible for ‘war crimes’ in their operation to liberate Syria from armed militants and jihadists.

    Commenting on the military situation in Syria, Evseev suggested that together with the liberation of Aleppo, the Syrian military and their Russian allies must make it a priority to surround Nusra Front terrorists in Idlib. “The terrorists must be destroyed, but most likely a process of squeezing them out will take place,” he admitted.

   If forced to leave Idlib, “the only place for them to go will be Turkey. And here, I would recommend that our Western partners, who currently advise us how to fight in Aleppo, take a moment to think about what will happen to the Idlib militants who end up in Turkey,” the expert noted. “From here, it’s likely that they can then be expected to pay a visit to Europe. This is what Western nations should be thinking about, instead of putting a spoke in the wheel and doing everything possible to interfere in the operation to liberate Aleppo and other Syrian territories.”

   As far as the situation in the city of Aleppo is concerned, Evseev stressed that “if we continue to wait and prolong humanitarian pauses, there will be no people left in Aleppo. Without air support, losses are too high. It’s necessary to free the city quickly, and to think less about the West thinks about it.”

Syria campaign raises interest in Russian weapons and naval hardware

Russian fighter jets and bombers at Hemeimeem air base in Syria

© Vadim Savitsky/Russian Defense Ministry Press Service pool photo via AP

LE BOURGET (France), October 19. /TASS/. Russia’s anti-terror operation in Syria has increased the interest of foreign customers in Russian weapons, Deputy Director of the Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation Anatoly Punchuk told TASS on Wednesday.

“No doubt, during the ongoing Syria operation, the Russian combat hardware has demonstrated its high tactical and technical characteristics in combat conditions. The successes of our anti-terror contingent have increased the interest of foreign customers in the entire range of Russian-made military products, including naval hardware,” he said at the 25th Euronaval-2016 international naval show.

Russia launched its anti-terror operation in Syria on September 30, 2015 at the request of Syrian President Bashar Assad. The anti-terror operation involves Russian combat aircraft, including strategic bombers. The operation’s active phase lasted until March 15, after which Russia withdrew its basic contingent from Syria.

 

Russia in Syria ‘Indefinitely’: What It is All About

 

 Everyday life of the Russian air group at the Hmeymim airfield in Syria

   This week Russian President Putin ratified an agreement with the Syrian government that allows Russia to use the Hmeymim air base in Syria indefinitely. Sputnik delves into the details of the Russian facility in Syria’s Latakia province.

   The agreement, which was signed between Moscow and Damascus on August 26, 2015, had been previously approved by both chambers of Russia’s parliament.

   The document regulates the terms of deployment of Russia’s air group in Syria

Among other points, it notes that the Russian air group is stationed at the Hmeymim airfield in the Latakia province free of charge at the request of Syria.

   Under the agreement, Russian military personnel and their family members are granted immunity identical to that provided by the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

   The document stipulates that the deployment of Russia’s air group on the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic “answers the purpose of maintaining peace and stability in the region, is of defensive character and is not levelled against other states.”

   The structure of the air group is defined by Russia upon agreement with Syria. The group acts in accordance with the plans put forward and agreed upon by both sides. Russia has the right to bring onto Syrian territory armament, ammunition, equipment and materials necessary for completion of the tasks of the air group and for provision of security and life-sustaining activities of the military personnel.

   They are not subjected to any duties, fees or levies.

   The military personnel of Russia’s air group has the right to cross the Syrian border without encumbrance with the documents valid for travel outside Russia and is not subjected to security checks by Syrian border guards or customs officers.

   The air group officers are relieved of any direct or indirect taxes.

   September 30, 2016 marked one year since Russia launched its aerial campaign in Syria under the official request of the Syrian government.

   According to Viktor Murakhovsky, editor-in-chief of Arsenal of the Motherland journal, since then the Russian air group has conducted about 16,000 sorties and over 54,000 air strikes on the positions of the rebel groups operating on the Syrian territory: their command centers, workshops which manufactured self-made explosives and ammunition, military hardware.

   Russian Aerospace Forces have eliminated about 5,000 terrorists, 2,700 of whom were either of Russian or CIS origin, the expert told RT news channel.

   The Russian air group has destroyed 125 tanks and several thousand trucks mounted with weapons, 200 objects of illegal oil infrastructure and has delivered over 1.5 tonnes of humanitarian aid.

   “Back in summer of 2015, some western experts predicted that President Assad’s government could hold-out for no longer than 5-6 months. However the involvement of Russia’s Airspace Forces and their high-intensive airstrikes have profoundly changed the situation in Syria. And speculation on the soon collapse of Damascus has become quiet,” Murakhovsky said. Ministry of defence of the Russian FederationTupolev Tu-22 M3 strategic bombers hit terrorists in Syria

   “The presence of the Russian air group on the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic answers in full the purposes of maintaining peace in the region,” member of Russia’s Federation Council’s (upper chamber of the Russian parliament) Committee on Defense and Security Olga Kovitidi told RT.

   “The ratification of the agreement on the indefinite presence of the Russian air group at the Hmeymim base will become a basis for its systematic and planned operations within the military campaign for the benefit of friendly Syria,” she said.

   Kovitidi also noted that the signed agreement establishes international legal norms which regulate the number of personnel and the terms of deployment and operation of the Russian air group.

   Such agreements are the only legal instrument in the international practice for the use of foreign military bases. The implementation of this agreement will be Russia’s practical contribution into the efforts of the international community to stabilize the situation in Syria and to fight against international terrorism, she stated.

   Meanwhile Viktor Murakhovsky revealed that at the moment there are 16 Russian combat aircraft deployed at the Hmeymim air base: 12 Su-24M supersonic, all-weather attack aircraft and 4 Su-34 advanced fighter-bombers.

   “On average, they perform 40-50 sorties per day, which is relatively inexpensive for the Russian budget,” he told RT.

“In comparison, Russia’s Airspace Forces have over 1,500 combat aircraft which spend about 2 million tonnes of fuel per year, not including the operation in Syrian. Thus the daily operations of 15-20 aircraft in Syria are insignificant,” the expert said.

   He also noted that President Putin has made it clear that there were no additional means allocated from the country’s budget for this aerial campaign and that it keeps within the expenditures allocated by Russia’s Defense Ministry to the operative and combat training.

The expert also noted that there are over 4,000 Russian servicemen currently on station at the Hmeymim base. In addition to the aircraft already mentioned, there are also Tu-22, Tu-95 and Tu-160 strategic strike bombers operating in Syria.

Source: Russia to Respond US Braggery by Intensifying Anti-Terror Campaign

 

 

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Syrian sources said Russia plans to respond to the US officials’ boastful remarks by intensifying its airstrikes against the terrorist groups in Syria.

“While ordering its troops to respond to any provocative move by the US, Russia has intensified its offensives against the terrorists in Aleppo, Hama and Damascus countryside,” Syrian military and diplomatic sources told FNA on Wednesday.

The sources underlined that the regions which are more important to Syria and its allies are the city of Aleppo and its countryside, the city of Hama and its countryside, Damascus countryside and Dara’a province.

“The recent diplomatic dispute between Russia and the Western countries in the UN Security Council as well as the tension between Moscow and Washington made the Russian leadership call on its military officials in Syria to prepare plans for fresh attacks on some terrorist-controlled strategic regions while maintaining their state of alert in a bid to respond to the US braggery by making new military gains,” the sources said.

In early October, Russian media reported that the country’s defense ministry had devised a preemptive plan to be implemented if the US withdraws from talks with Moscow on Syria and opts for its Plan B.

Izvestia newspaper quoted a high-ranking military source as saying that the plan includes military and political measures. The source didn’t reveal the details of the Russian plan.

Also, Franz Klintsevich, the deputy head of the Unity group in the State Duma, revealed that “if needed, we can highly increase our military support for the Syrian armed forces”.

Syrian General: Victories against Terrorists Speed Up with Establishment of Russia’s Military Base in Tartus

 

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He further underlined that establishment of the Russian military base was a necessity for confronting the terrorists who are being backed by foreign parties.

On Monday, Russia’s deputy defense minister said the Russian military plans to expand its supply base in Syrian port of Tartus into a fully-fledged permanent naval base.

“We are going to have a permanent Navy base in Tartus. We have prepared the paperwork, which is now being reviewed by other government agencies. The documents are pretty much ready, so we hope to submit them to you for ratification soon,” General Nikolay Pankov, deputy defense minister responsible for communication with other parts of the Russian government, told the Russia’s Federation Council.

The Russian facility in Tartus has long been used to resupply Russian warships during Mediterranean Sea missions. The facility has been in place since 1977, and after the collapse of the Soviet Union it was used to resupply and repair Russian warships deployed to missions in the Mediterranean Sea, but did not serve as a permanent base for any of them.

Last week Russia confirmed delivery of an advanced anti-aircraft missile system to Tartus to protect the port facility and mooring warships from potential airstrikes and missile attacks.

The delivery came amid media reports that the Pentagon planned a massive cruise missile attack on Syrian airfields, which would dismantle Damascus’ aerial capabilities.

The US accuses Syria and Russia of perpetrating war crimes in Syria over the offensive operation against militant forces in Eastern Aleppo.

Russia says the operation followed US failure to deliver on its promise to separate the so-called militants form terrorist groups in Aleppo and that Washington is playing the blame game to draw attention away from its failures.