Russia Aims to Open Second Air Base in Syria: Reports

Russia Aims to Open Second Air Base in Syria: Reports
Tue Dec 1, 2015 18:36:15

Russia is looking to scale up its military presence in Syria with the opening of a second airport in eastern Homs, around 25 kilometers south-east of the provincial capital, according to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed online news website.

The move could see Russia’s air fleet bolstered to over 100 war planes, while 1,000 ground troops are also on their way to Syria, according to al-Rai Media Group, the report reads.

These new Russian troops would be used in “selective battles” in Syria, and to provide security for al-Shayarat airport in Homs province, according to a high-ranking military officer.

“Al-Shayrat airbase houses 45 fortified aircraft hangers,” Elijah J. Magnier from the newspaper said in the report.

Engineers are building a three kilometer backup runway to cater to the new Russian aircraft.

Russia has around 37 warplanes and helicopters at Latakia airbase, including Su-34 war planes.

A joint force of Syrian, Iraqi and Hezbollah fighters would be used on the ground to retake territory in Homs from the Islamic State group.

This includes an offensive on the ancient city of Palmyra; unian reported.

S/SH

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