After Russia and Iran signed a military agreement allowing Russian aircraft to station at the Hamadan Air Base in western Iran, the Russian strategic long-range Tu-22M3 bombers, that took off from the air base, delivered airstrikes on ISIS targets in Syria.
“On August 16, 2016, Tu-23M3 long-range bombers and Su-34 bombers, having taken off from their base in Hamadan [Islamic Republic of Iran], carried out group airstrikes against targets belonging to Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist groups in the provinces of Aleppo, Deir ez-Zor and Idlib,” the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) said in a statement.
According to the Russian MoD, the mombers also destroyed 3 militant command centres and training camps in the areas of Serakab, Al-Bab, Aleppo and Deir Ezzor. The air strikes killed “a significant number” of terrorists.
The Russian MoD confirmed on August 16 that Russia had deployed Tu-22M3 bombers and Su-34 strike fighters in Iran. The deployment at the Hamadan Air Base allows the Russian Aerospace Forces to reduce the flying time to terrorist targets in Syria. Previously, Russian strategic bombers delivered air strikes in Syria from a base in Russia’s Mozdok, covering a distance of about 2,000km to get to Syrian airspace. Now the distance is about 700km. Thus, airstrikes can be delivered faster and more cheaply.
The Russian Khmeimim Air Base in Syria’s province of Latakia is not not suitable for the heavy Tu-22M3, now. However, it will be changed as soon as Russia will finish the modernization of the air base for permanent deployment of the Russian Aerospace Forces there.