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Wednesday, August 17

Russia uses Iranian base as Syrian Army prepares massive offensive against Islamic State

For more on this story see these three reports from August 16:

Sputnik: Why Iran Allowing Russia to Use Airbase Has ‘Great Tactical Importance’

SouthFront: Russian Military Buildup In and Around Syria

FARS: Top Security Official Indirectly Confirms Deployment of Russian Bombers in Iranian Airbase

Russia puts Iranian base to use as the Syrian Army prepares for massive offensive against ISIS
By Leith Fadel

Damascus, Syria (7:00 A.M.) – The Russian Air Force landed several planes at the Iranian Hamedan Airbase on Tuesday, marking the first foreign military presence in the country since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
These Russian fighter jets will be put to use along the Syrian-Iraqi border, as the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) prepares to launch a massive operation against the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) in the vast Syrian Desert.
According to a military source in Damascus, the Syrian Armed Forces, backed Iraqi paramilitary units, will make a major push to liberate Al-Sukhanah, an oil rich city that is located along the border of the Homs and Deir Ezzor governorates.
ussian fighter jets will be specifically using the Hamedan Airbase to conduct combat missions in eastern Syria, while their assault choppers continue to use the T-4 Military Airport to launch attacks against ISIS in east Homs and west Deir Ezzor.
The Al-Sukhanah offensive was originally scheduled for early August; however, the jihadist rebel offensive in the Aleppo Governorate required two Republican Guard units to redeploy to northern Syria in order to protect the aforementioned province’s capital.
Also being discussed by the Syrian Army’s High Command is the possibility of another offensive in east Aleppo; this assault would target the two remaining ISIS strongholds: Al-Bab and Deir Hafer.
No further details were given regarding this possible offensive.

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