First Russia airstrikes launched from Iran base

Published August 16th, 2016 - 03:00 GMT
Russian warplanes have used an Iranian airbase for military actions in Syria for the first time. (AFP/File)
Russian warplanes have used an Iranian airbase for military actions in Syria for the first time. (AFP/File)

Russian warplanes took off from an airbase in western Iran's Hamadan province on Tuesday and conducted an airstrike targeting militants in Syria's Aleppo, Deir ez-Zor and Idlib regions, Russia's Defence Ministry said.

It was the first time Russian warplanes used an Iranian airbase for military actions in Syria, TASS reported.

"Long-range Tu-22M3 bombers and front-line Su-34 bombers that had taken off with a full load of bombs from an airbase in Hamadan conducted a coordinated attack on targets of the terrorist groups Islamic State and al-Nusra Front," the Defence Ministry said in a statement.

Both groups have been designated as `"terrorists" by the United Nations. Last month, al-Nusra Front changed its name to Jabhat Fatah al-Sham.

Russia and Iran are longtime allies of the Syrian government, which has been waging war against a range of militant groups in the country for more than five years.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rowhani met last week in Azerbaijan's capital Baku, to strengthen military ties among other discussion points, according to a Kremlin transcript.

The attack hit five large storage facilities housing weapons, munitions and fuel, as well as militant training camps around the cities of Saraqib, Al-Bab, Aleppo and Deir ez-Zor and three militant command points around the cities of Jafra and Deir ez-Zor, the Defence Ministry said.

Earlier this week, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said his country and the United States were "currently in a very active stage of negotiations" to begin joint military action in Syria against Daesh.

Russia and the US have supported opposing sides in Syria, with the US and some Western and regional powers backing certain rebel groups. However, Russia and the US agree on the need to eliminate UN-designated "terrorists" groups, such as Daesh. 

© 2021 dpa GmbH

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