Satellite Images Show New Russian Military Build-Up in Syria

Satellite Images Show New Russian Military Build-Up in Syria
Sat Sep 26, 2015 13:30:49

Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent a number of fast attack jets, tanks, armoured personnel carriers and artillery pieces to Syria.

New satellite figures have shown a number of Su-24 and Su30Sm fighters, Mi-24 helicopters and T-90 main battle tanks at Syria International Airport in the government-controlled coastal city of Latakia.

In addition to the advanced military hardware, satellite imagery has shown the construction of new buildings around the possibly to support the deployment of Russian forces on the ground.

According to AllSource Analysis, the Russians have deployed at least six T-90 main battle tanks; 15 artillery pieces, and 35 armoured personnel carriers.

The satellite imagery also suggests that new prefabricated buildings to house up to 500 personnel have been built on the site.

In addition to the advanced attack jets, Il-76 and An-124 cargo planes have been ferrying in equipment several times a day.

Igor Korotchenko, editor of the pro-Kremlin National Defence Magazine confirmed that Russia was building up its forces in the area providing 'all the necessary weapons for fighting the ISIS terrorist group'.

Among the equipment deployed to Syria is the T-90 Main Battle Tank, the battle tank is equipped with a 125mm tank gun and an anti-aircraft machine gun.

Uralvagonzavod chief Oleg Sienko told Rossiyskaya Gazeta government newspaper on Friday that Russia recently tested the modernised T-90SM model in 'an Arab country' and plans to export it to the region.

He confirmed older T-72 tanks are being 'successfully used by the Syrian army in urban warfare against the ISIS militants'.

Smerch - which means 'whirlwind' - is a heavy multiple rocket launcher developed in the 1980s, a larger 300 mm calibre upgrade of the Grad system that is also being used in Syria.

Moscow delivers 'multiple rocket launchers, heavy flamethrowers, and munitions' to the army, Korotchenko said.These systems are 'effective' in Syria, he added.

Russia's aircraft contracts with Syria before the conflict included MiG fighter planes and reports suggested a new contract was in the works in 2013.

Recent deliveries to Syria have included Sukhoi Su-24 and Su-25 planes, called Fencer and Frogfoot by NATO.

Su-24

The Su-24 is popular with both air-to-air and air-to-ground capacity.It has been used by Syria's airforce throughout the conflict .

Syria's officials this week announced that the military is using Russian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), without specifying the model or how they are being used.

Syria has admitted it has received sophisticated new arms from Russia, including warplanes, and deployed them against jihadists, amid signs Moscow is readying a direct role in its ally's war.

The news came as a leading defence publication said Russia appeared to be preparing two bases for troops, but US Secretary of State John Kerry said the build-up may be purely defensive.

A senior military official told AFP Damascus had received new weaponry, including at least five fighter jets.

The deliveries came amid a Russian build-up in Syria, with US officials saying it had deployed 28 combat planes and begun drone flights.

The Syrian official said Damascus had also received 'sophisticated military equipment to fight ISIS,' including targeting equipment and precision-guided missiles.

The weapons had already been deployed against ISIS in the cities of Deir Ezzor and Raqa, the terrorist group's de facto capital.'Russian weapons are starting to have an effect in Syria,' the official said.

Russia is pushing for the coalition of Western and regional powers fighting ISIS to join forces with Assad against the terrorists.

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