Russia launches airstrikes in Syria from Iranian base
Russian Tu22M3 and Su-34 bombers that are based at the Hamadan airfield in Iran have conducted airstrikes in Syria, Interfax reported. The sorties were the first time Russian aircraft had taken off from Iranian territory and carried out airstrikes in Syria.
The bombers were covered by Su-35 fighters which are based in Syria.
"On August 16, Tu-22M3 long-range bombers and Sukhoi Su-34 aircraft, travelling with full bomb loads from the Hamadan airbase (in the Islamic Republic of Iran), carried out airstrikes against targets of the terrorist groups ‘Islamic State’ and ‘al-Nusra Front’ in the provinces of Aleppo, Deir ez-Zor and Idlib,” a statement issued by the Russian Defense Ministry reported.
The Ministry claims the strikes successfully hit arms depots, command posts, and training camps.
"All Russian planes returned to the airbases after successful missions,” the statement added.
Chairman of the Russian Duma’s Defense Committee, Vladimir Komoyedov, said operating out of Iran would “save fuel and enlarge bomb loads.”
Also on Tuesday, Human Rights Watch accused Russia and the Syrian government of dropping incendiary bombs on civilian areas, Radio Svoboda reported.
The New York-based monitor claims that incendiary weapons have been used at least 18 times in the last 6 weeks.