The satellite imagery reveals an additional factor behind the deployment of Russian Tu-23M3 long-range bombers and Su-34 bombers at the Hamadan Air Base in western Iran. On August 16, Russian Tu-22M3s made first sorties from the Irainan base, targeting ISIS and Al Nusra Front military objects and manpower in Syria.
The Russian bombers previously have flown from the Mozdok Air Baise in southern Russia, and had to cover more than 2,000 km to reach terrorist targets in Syria. After the deployment at Hamedan, the distance is less than half that. The Russian Tu-22M3 long-range bomber is capable of carrying more than 20 metric tons of bombs if it’s flown from Iran.
The photos below reveal that the Russians are now building the second runway at Mozdok. When this is done, Moscow will be able to increase number of sorties conducted from Mozdok (if it will be needed because of any reasons).