Russia Needs 2nd Syrian Airbase to ‘Enhance the Effectiveness’ of Combat
Apart from Hmeymim, the Russian Aerospace Forces should have another airbase
in Syria given that Russia’s anti-Daesh air campaign there is yet to be
completed, military expert Alexander Perendzhiyev told RIA Novosti.
Sputnik/ Alexander Astafyev 02.10.2016(updated 10:39 02.10.2016)
In an interview with RIA Novosti, military expert Alexander Perendzhiyev
underscored the necessity of the Russian Aerospace Forces creating a second
airbase in Syria because Russia’s anti-Daesh air campaign there is still
Currently Russian warplanes are limited to staging out of Hmeymim Airbase at
Bassel Al-Assad International Airport near Latakia, the principal port city
The interview came as Friday marked the first anniversary of the beginning
of Russia’s anti-terrorist air campaign in Syria, which was launched at the
behest of the Syrian government.
“I believe that aside from Hmeymim, the Russian Aerospace Forces need an
additional airfield in Syria so that pilots can be protected from a possible
terrorist attack after performing their tasks,” Perendzhiyev said.
“Secondly, the Russian Aerospace Forces need a prestrike staging base in
order to enhance the effectiveness of the combat mission and minimize the
expenditure of resources,” he stressed.
Moscow launched its first airstrikes against positions held by Daesh
(ISIL/ISIS) and al-Nusra Front terrorists in Syria at the behest of the
country’s President Bashar Assad on September 30, 2015.
The bombardments were conducted in close cooperation with the Syrian
government’s fight against Islamic extremists, and made use of intelligence
data collected from a coordination center in Baghdad.
In March 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the withdrawal of a
major bulk of the Russian forces from Syria, citing the successful
fulfillment of their tasks.
However, some of the air units remained in the country to provide aerial
support for ground operations launched by the Syrian Army.
In total, in the past twelve months the Russian Aerospace Forces destroyed
thousands of terrorist positions in Syria, including command and control
centers, arms depots, oil refineries and others.
The aerial campaign also made it possible for the army and pro-government
fighters to free a spate of areas in Latakia, Idlib and Aleppo provinces,
including Syria’s famous ancient city of Palmyra.
However, despite the collective counter-terrorism efforts, including those
by the US-led coalition, international terrorists continue to control large
areas of Syria, including a number of key points in the provinces of Aleppo
In this regard, the threat of Syria’s destruction as a single sovereign
state remains, according to RIA Novosti.