Russia Bombs Syrian Militants From Iran Air Base

Russia Bombs Syrian Militants From Iran Air Base | First time Russian planes used another country for Syria strikes

In a first for their war in Syria, Russian warplanes today launched airstrikes against Syrian rebels, using warplanes launched from the Hamedan Air Base, west of the capital city of Tehran. Previously, all Russian strikes in the war were launched from either Syrian territory itself, or from Russia.

The planes involved were Tupolev-22M3 long-range bombers and Su-34 fighter bombers. It is unclear how long Russian planes have been at the Iranian air base. Iranian officials confirmed today that Russian and Iranian personnel will share the facility.

US and Israeli officials, however, say they knew in advance that Iran was to allow Russia the use of the base. The Tupolev bombers could not operate out of Russian bases in Latakia, Syria, which are too small to host them, and this gives them another option.

Israeli officials warned that the move has “negative implications” for their interests in the long term, and indeed it would be a lot harder for Israel to follow through on long-standing threats to attack Iran if they’re playing host to the Russian Air Force.

The State Department declined to get into details about the matter, but terms the Russian deployment “unfortunate.” The US, of course, has been launching airstrikes against Syria from third-party countries throughout the war, with a substantial base in Turkey.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • Bianca

    Russians are apparently still targeting nice “rebels”, not headchoppers and organeaters.

    No, no. They apparently pick on “rebels”. So, unless they call themselves ISIS — they are not terrorist. May be ISIS needs go follow Al-Nusra lead — and change name. Declare fhemselves “rebels” and join the American led coalition.
    All other terrorists already did!

  • Robert

    There was a story on the Russian media that was reporting that one of the reasons they did this was because ‘someone’ with satellites and global tracking of planes had been tipping off Sham-Qaida and ISIS as to when a strike was coming. I’d link to it, but I can’t seem to be able to find it again.

    These long-range bombers, which of course can aerial refuel, were capable of launching such strikes from their bases in southern Russia. But, by moving to the air-base in Iran, they have a shorter flight to the targets and therefore less time for people who have their own satellites to tip off the terrorists that a strike was coming.