On August 5, a convoy of Russian military cargo aircraft landed in Hmeimim Air Base in the coastal Syrian governorate of Latakia.
The convoy, which consisted of seven Il-76 cargo aircraft, took off from the Russian capital, Moscow. The aircraft took a route passing through Turkey’s airspace, which is used by the Russian Aerospace Forces on a regular basis.
Большая группа транспортных Ил-76 (7 единиц) сегодня ночью прибыла с аэродрома Чкаловский в Сирию. Такого каравана грузовых бортов не было давненько. Посмотрим, куда пойдут дальше #Russia #Syria #Putinatwar #Libia pic.twitter.com/eFrUAkICuN
— Записки охотника (@galandecZP) August 25, 2020
Later that day, a Russian An-124 heavy lift aircraft followed the convoy’s route from Moscow to Hmeimim Air Base.
One An 124 and 7 Il 76 come last night to Latakia pic.twitter.com/XNXm4gkIDY
— ZOKA (@200_zoka) August 26, 2020
Military aircraft have not moved from Russia to Syria in these number since the early days of Russian deployment in the country.
While some observers speculated that the aircrafts were carrying Russian weapons systems or military supplies for the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), others speculated that the load may have been humanitarian aid or just logistics for Russian troops.
Russia is backing the SAA’s operations against terrorist groups in different parts of Syria. The army is now engaged in a heated battle with ISIS cells in the central region. Russian forces are providing military support on the ground and from air.