Moscow Delivers Warplanes to Syria in Latest Boost to Regime

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Russia has delivered new arms including warplanes to Syria as the regime increases attacks on jihadists, officials said Tuesday, in a sign that Moscow's growing support for its ally is having an effect.

A senior Syrian military official told AFP Damascus had received a fresh batch of arms, including at least five fighter planes, while a monitoring group said there had been a marked increase in regime attacks on the Islamic State group.

The deliveries came amid a rapid Russian military build-up in Syria, with US officials saying Moscow had deployed 28 new combat planes and begun drone flights in the country.

Syria's devastating four-year conflict has taken on a new dimension in recent days as Moscow has moved to boost its military presence in the country, raising deep concerns in Washington.

The Syrian military official told AFP the new fighter planes had arrived on Friday along with reconnaissance aircraft at a military base in Latakia province, the traditional heartland of President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

The regime had also received "sophisticated military equipment to fight IS" including targeting equipment and precision-guided missiles, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The new weapons had already been deployed against IS in the cities of Deir Ezzor and Raqa, the jihadist group's de facto capital in Syria. 

"Russian weapons are starting to have an effect in Syria," the official said. 

 

- 'Not going to sit around' - 

Another military source in Latakia confirmed to AFP that the army had received spy planes and other equipment "that will allow Syrian ground and air forces to accurately identify targets."

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group, said new Russian equipment was being put into action effectively, with at least 38 IS fighters killed in air strikes in jihadist-held towns in central Syria on Monday.

"The number of raids is growing and the strikes are more precise after the Syrian air force received arms and more efficient planes from Moscow," Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

Monday's strikes hit jihadists in the town of Palmyra -- where IS has destroyed a series of ancient ruins -- and two other towns in Homs province, he said.

Moscow has been an unwavering supporter of Assad during a conflict that has seen more than 240,000 killed since March 2011, insisting it would continue arms deliveries to his regime.

But Russia's intentions have been unclear in recent days as it deployed a range of new weaponry and troops to its airbase near Latakia.

On Monday, US officials said Moscow had deployed 28 fighter and bomber aircraft at the airfield, including 12 SU-24 attack aircraft, 12 SU-25 ground attack aircraft and four Flanker fighter jets.

The officials said there were also about 20 Russian combat and transport helicopters at the base and that Moscow was operating drone flights, but did not give additional details.

Experts said it was unlikely the aircraft were only for defensive purposes.

"They are not going to sit around and defend the airfield or maybe even the province of Latakia," said Jeffrey White of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

 

- Military to military talks - 

"This kind of aircraft suggests that the Russians intend to exert their combat power outside of Latakia in an offensive role."

The deployments have raised fears of an inadvertent confrontation between Russian forces and the US-led coalition that has been carrying out almost daily air strikes against IS in Syria for more than a year.

After an 18-month freeze in military relations triggered by NATO anger over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis, US and Russian military officials held talks on Friday aimed at avoiding unintended incidents in Syria.

In another potential sign of an increasing Russian role, President Vladimir Putin agreed a deal with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday aimed at avoiding incidents in Syria.

After talks in Russia, "a joint mechanism for preventing misunderstandings between our forces" was agreed to, Netanyahu's office said.

Israeli forces have reportedly carried out several strikes in Syria on Iranian arms transfers to Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah.

The deployments come as Russia pushes for the coalition of Western and regional powers fighting IS in Syria to join forces with Assad against the jihadists.

Western and Gulf powers have long resisted any role for Assad in the fight against IS, insisting he must go for Syria to have any hope of peace.

Western diplomats suggest Putin -- who has been isolated by the West over the crisis in Ukraine -- is trying to switch the focus to Syria, ahead of a key address to the United Nations General Assembly on September 28.

Comments 32
Default-user-icon Darwr101 (Guest) 5 years

Eventually Assad and his Air Force will start pounding all terrorists positions to relieve its beleaguered army on many fronts...with help from Russian advisers.

Thumb freedomarch 5 years

Did you see Aleppo innocent people parts few days ago? Are these the terrorists you are talking about?

Thumb Mystic 5 years

If it wasen't for the corrupted March 14 alliance and their American fathers, then the LAF could receive good armaments from both Iran and Russia, just like Syria.

Thumb freedomarch 5 years

Well we should and Lebanese Army is not Syrian Army. In any case These plans where put in good use in Syria - Aleppo mascaras 10th in few days so far.

Thumb Mystic 5 years

But look at the LAF equipment now, all the great deals from Russia are turned down, whilst our soldiers awaits delayed Saudi paid scrapmetal from France.

Never trust the West or Gulf.

Missing ArabDemocrat.com 5 years

Mystic - where were these advanced weapons before? If Russia waited till now to supply its ally with these weapons, why do you think, they would have supplied them to Lebanon? Do you know more than the Lebanese army about its needs?

Thumb thepatriot 5 years

Oh yeah Mistic... that's a smart statement... but you should also consider the fact that if we had no Ebola, the entire world would have helped us, and we would be stronger than Dubai by now but nooo... we have Ebola... who wants to liberate Palestine, who wants to liberate Assad's Syria, who wants to annihilate Israel, who occupies this state, it's administrations, and keeps it a retarded country. Cheers mate!

Thumb Mystic 5 years

Without the Resistance, then Lebanon would've been part of an Israeli settlement plan, or part of Baghdadis "Caliphate". But I guess that's what you desire mr.pat

Thumb thepatriot 5 years

oh really? lol

Ebola went in Syria as a preventive measure to eliminate isis from our borders right?
Why is this acceptable from Ebola, and unacceptable from Israel?
Israel does the same, they protect their borders by creating a buffer zone. You cannot criticize it when it suits you, and hail it when it does! Be consistent!
So... do you cross borders to fight a threat... or not?

Missing bandit 5 years

Mystic. Remember how your people welcomed the Israeli army after it liberated you from the Palestinians and that is how Israel created hezzbellah

Thumb freedomarch 5 years

Shame on you, Southern of what? Did you manage to see parts of children and women burned in Aleppo only few days ago? If at least more than 51 % people don't want you, you force your self with help of Iran and Russia that have nothing to do with us add to that helping all types of terrorism, it is not enough for you to see innocent being killed and act as that is fine for eyes of Khaminsi and Assad? The other terrorists like Isis should be removed immediately with out any delay as well as the reason for all this mess.

Thumb lebnanfirst 5 years

@.Southern_.

You said and I quote,
"...the terrorists who are slaughtering all individuals who don't share their views, ...'
How is that different from HA and Assad slaughtering the Lebanese individuals who don't share their views?

Same wooden ideology, same tactics. Two faces of the same coin as any intelligent Lebanese will say.

Thumb freedomarch 5 years

To our Friend humble impersonator, More than 80 % of Syrian People are against him, what this have to do with Syrians in Lebanon and your twisted Statistics. So if they like him so much why all these planes, long range missiles, chimical bombing, if you suspect there is 1 family that is pro assad among them. Do you throw a barrel after barrel of exp lo sevs if you suspect people bellow love you? Shame on brains that are not put to use except for hate.

Thumb thepatriot 5 years

@Southy... and Michel Aoun told us 3 years ago that the conflict in Syria will be over by next Tuesday. What's your point?

Thumb thepatriot 5 years

your comment makes no sense. The dead line for the end of the conflict Aoun gave was 5 days away. No country intervened drastically at this time, within a period of 5 days, to radically change the outcome of the war.
I am sorry, but you make no sense at all mate...
And please no "if Aoun said so"
Here is a source... it is Al Manar, so you should believe it i guess..

http://www.almanar.com.lb/english/adetails.php?fromval=1&cid=23&frid=23&eid=34356

Thumb thepatriot 5 years

“Next Tuesday you will tell me if the crisis in Syria has persisted. I believe that it is over.”

Michel Aoun 08/11/2011

And Ebola went in, nothing changed, Iranians are in, nothing changed, Russians are welcome to try to change the course of a war where a 350,000 men army cannot defeat "rebels"!
But this is not my point, for me isis and Assad are two terrors we must get rid of...
And no... no outcome has changed... civilians are still dying, and fleeing from Syria, and we still get refugees, and Russians will bring nothing better... they will make this conflict last longer that's all...

Thumb Mystic 5 years

You might wanna take a look at the map texas, the Syrian government still controls the areas with most of the population.

That is way more than 25%, ISIS controls desert towns, Nusra controls burned out forests in Idlib and some neighbourhoods in Aleppo.
The war is far from over, that we can agree on. Turkey still have their borders wide open for foreign takfiris to cross into Syria. Hundreds of thousands of them.

Russia will merely apply technical and logistical support not ground forces, just like Iran does.

Thumb jaafar.ibn.iblees 5 years

people keep asking when will you admit it is a martyred iranian jihadi terrorist family in your avatar?

Thumb Mystic 5 years

Every salafi are already going to Syria saudijack. So it makes no difference.

Thumb freedomarch 5 years

Does this mean in your twisted mind that all , every one is a terrorist if rejecting Assad regime and Iran etc? Does it mean All , Every person that you kill when you drop barrels and now brand new bombs are terrorists?

Missing panzergen 5 years

Saudi led coalition precision bombings of Houthi rebels? Lmao!!! Where are you getting your news? Reuters, AP and other mainstream newspapers always report massed civilian casualties of your so called accurate Saudi bombings of Houthi rebels. Assad and Saudi Arabia should be both equally demonified. I can see your obvious biased opinion and of your sectarian Sunni leanings.

Thumb justin 5 years

مقتل ثلاثة من “حزب الله”
نعت وسائل إعلام ميليشيا “حزب الله” ثلاثة من عناصرها بينهم منشد اللطميات حسين كركي, الذين قتلوا في جبهات الزبداني قبل إعلان الهدنة فيها أول من أمس.
وذكر موقع “جنوب لبنان” أن بلدة عين بوسوار في جنوب لبنان شيعت أمس المنشد كركي, الذي يعرف بأناشيده الطائفية ضد الشعب السوري والثوار, فيما أكد ناشطون أنه قتل خلال تصدي الثوار لمحاولة تقدم لميليشا “حزب الله” على أحد محاور الزبداني قبل ساعات من إعلان الهدنة.
كما ذكر موقع “جنوبية” أن ميليشيا الحزب نعت أيضاً عباس حسين مرعي زهوي من بلدة مجدل سلم قضاء مرجعيون, فيما شيعت قرية عبة في قضاء النبطية عنصراً من الميليشيا قتل في العراق وهو يقاتل الى جانب قوات “الحشد الشعبي”.

Thumb beiruti 5 years

There is no "good guy" in the Syrian War. Only bad (Assad/Hezbollah/Iran) and worse (ISIS/Nusra). If you attack one, then you are simultaneously helping the other. This has Obama tied up in all sorts of knots. For Putin, he has decided to attack the worst and to simultaneously help the bad.

In the meantime, the good from Syria are streaming across the borders migrating to Europe. What is left of Syria when this is all over is a shell of a country with all of its good people outside of its borders and hell inside of its borders, making for a bad neighbor going worse.

Thumb freedomarch 5 years

Exactly right beiruti.

Default-user-icon panzermowaten (Guest) 5 years

well said mowaten, very well said

Default-user-icon Abu Quahafah panzergen (Guest) 5 years

i agree with mowaten and Abu Quahafah

Missing bigjohn 5 years

"Western diplomats suggest Putin -- who has been isolated by the West over the crisis in Ukraine -- is trying to switch the focus to Syria, ahead of a key address to the United Nations General Assembly on September 28."...I thought Russia is "bankrupt' for "daring" to stand up to western involvement in Ukraine? Russian support of Assad will not be enough for the pro-regime forces to seize all of Syria...unless the Takfiris continuously kill each other or the 75 men army trained by the US is able to seize the country.

Default-user-icon Most Western Diplomats (Guest) 5 years

we agree with you and please don't forget to visit us in January

Missing bandit 5 years

The only solution is to have hezbollah to totally go to Syria and help Assad. Then once all of the Iran, Syria and hezzbellah lovers have left Lebanon. Send in a big nuclear bomb and finally we get rid of all the crap in the Middle East.

Thumb freedomarch 5 years

10 same person say no Isis was not made by Assad of Iran.

Thumb freedomarch 5 years

Iranian Majoos is speaking about extreme religious forces ... wahhhahhh Khaminai is an Angel and his Revolutionary Guards are peace Corps roaming the earth to heal the broken hearts of oppressed and week. Poor lost souls Kannadian you should have been in Iran instead.

Default-user-icon zatar (Guest) 5 years

What a naïve conversation,jealousy and hate in this thoughts. It is not about who and why and what's so ever. Its about the conflict, where the Arabic faith has been sold by Gulf Bedouin on purpose. Its about dispersal of people, about tragedy and pain of the Arabic civilization, its roots in "Blad Sham". Look at the players and you understand. Ironically, the history wants "Syrian" people to be victims of collective neglect, paying the higher price, death of its citizens and destruction, almost failed state. Stop blame each other, we have to learn from the past, make some rational conclusions. Peace!