Transfer to Iran
Russian strategic bombers Tu-22M3 of the profits to the Iranian Hamadan air base on Monday evening, reported the newspaper Al-Masdar News. From 16 August, on Tuesday, the planes made their first combat sortie. According to the defense Ministry of Russia, air strikes were inflicted on the positions of the “Islamic state” and Jabhat al-Nusra (in July it was renamed as “Front, Fatah al-sham”; both group banned in Russia) in the provinces of Aleppo, Deir-ez-Zor and Idlib. The exact number transferred to Iran bombers and duration-based unknown.
Informed military-diplomatic source told Interfax that the Russian defense Ministry has sent to Iran and Iraq’s request to use the airspace of both countries. According to the publication, the Russian military intend to use the permission of Baghdad and Tehran to launch cruise missiles.
According to the President of the International center for geopolitical analysis Leonid Ivashov, the launching of tactical cruise missiles “Caliber”, undertaken earlier with submarines and ships in the Caspian sea, was also in line with Tehran. “It was a requests the secret mode, with a time limit and height” — suggests Ivashov. The new agreement will allow Russian troops to use cruise missiles on a permanent basis, he said.
Russian strategic bombers Tu-22M3 are being used in Syria in the autumn of 2015. However, the frequency of their sorties was low — not more than 25 sorties a week. The aerodrome of departure was in Mozdok, Republic of North Ossetia, in 2 thousand km from the place of bombs. Much more still used a Sukhoi su-24.
The transfer of Tu-22M3 base Hamadan will reduce the flight time and take in two times more shells, says military analyst Anton Lavrov. Su-24 is not as effective, they can carry smaller bombs at a shorter distance,” explains the expert. The su-24 aircraft in a single sortie can lose about 7 tons of bombs. The radius of the bomber — 560 km. From Tu-22M3 widely as possible. At a distance of up to 2 thousand km strategic bomber can carry 12 tons of missiles and bombs of various types. Distance from Hamadan to Aleppo less than 1 thousand km.
“This is the right solution that allows you to increase the intensity and effectiveness of the bombing of the enemy” — evaluates the creation of additional bridgehead to the East of Syria (so far only used the base in Latakia in Northwest Syria) and the employment of strategic bombers Deputy Director of the Institute of political and military analysis Alexander Khramchikhin.
Do not agree with him Director of the St. Petersburg centre of studying of the modern Near East Gumer Isaev. “It is not clear how effective strategic aviation is fighting with the “Islamic state” (organization banned in Russia),” — said Isayev. In his opinion, to use expensive bombs and cruise missiles against a decentralized enemy illogical. “This case is to demonstrate the potential of our strategic aviation and the army. The transfer of Tu-22 and the use of rockets is a relatively inexpensive event, but a dramatic step,” — said the expert.
According to the Director of the Center for analysis of strategies and technologies Ruslan Pukhov, the use of Tu-22 not only a demonstration of power, but also the opportunity to gain real combat experience for pilots. “This is the real deal, the real target, the new target. For videoconferencing and crews this is a unique opportunity to train in real conditions,” — says Pukhov.
Corridor in Aleppo
The first blow of the Tu-22M3, located in Iran, was done in and for the province of Aleppo, where, according to the Russian defense Ministry, located grouping “Dzhabhat EN-Nusra” (banned in Russia).
Says military expert Viktor murakhovski, in the city of Tu-22M3 will be used. “Strategic aviation were used against bridges, communication centers, headquarters and command posts,” explains murakhovski. According to him, the use of Tu-22M3 in the city leads to major destruction and casualties.
Isaev says: earlier, the Russian group videoconferencing relied on attack helicopters Ka-52 and Mi-28N, and assault aircraft su-25: these types of equipment helped the Syrian government in the phase of the offensive. The Syrian operation moved into hold territory, “Aleppo in this regard is a good example” — said Isayev.
The battle for Aleppo go with 2012. The free Syrian army, the fighters of Jabhat al-Nusra and other rebel groups manage to keep Eastern areas of the city. According to researcher, Institute of Oriental studies of Gregory Melamedov, Aleppo allows you to control the outputs to the Turkish border. Before the war in Aleppo, lived 2.4 million people. In 2016, this was reduced to 300 thousand
Over the past six months, the Syrian army has conducted several operations in order to close the ring around the rebels and block the way of the delivery of supplies and weapons from the Western part of the province of Aleppo and Turkey. In late July, the troops of Assad and the allies unable to block the Eastern districts of the city, but in early August, the Syrian opposition has broken the blockade. Captured by the Syrian rebels artillery school and technology allowed the troops to increase and hold the corridor connecting the area to the West of the province with urban neighborhoods under rebel control.
A week after rebels attack Syrian army launched a retaliatory operation. On Friday, August 12, troops of the Lebanese party Hezbollah and Iraqi militia, supported by artillery and jet systems of volley fire tried to narrow the corridor in four places, however, the attack was repulsed.
Allies in Tehran
Iran from the very beginning of the war in Syria is an ally of Damascus, and then and Moscow: the first information center established in Baghdad. Recent visit of Russian defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to Iran took place in June. Then, according to the Deputy Minister Anatoly Antonov, Sergei Shoigu discussed with Iranian and Syrian partners “priority measures for strengthening the interaction of defense Ministers in the fight against banned terrorist groups the Islamic state and “Dzhebhat EN-Nusra”. August 8, in Baku took place a meeting between President Vladimir Putin and Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani. According to representatives of the Iranian side, among the topics discussed were the situation in Syria.
Agreement to use Iranian air force base seriously strengthens the military position of Russia in the region and thereby can turn the Kremlin chief mediator “of any forthcoming peace agreement on Syria”, said the columnist for The New York Times Neil MacFarquhar.
However, the Hamadan air base is unlikely to be the second Mamimum, Russian experts believe. “Iran, unlike Syria, an independent state, leading the game. I’m not sure that agreement on long-term Hamadan”, — says Isaev. According to the orientalist, Russia and Iran have a valid Union in the framework of the Syrian conflict, but the ties between Tehran and Western countries make the Russian bombers on the subject of bargaining.
More optimistic on Iranian-Russian cooperation looks Pukhov. “It is better to have allies than not to have it. Iran is much deeper involved in the conflict in Syria, involved in ground operations”, — says military expert. The presence of the interaction with the ground part at a new level can positively affect the course of the campaign.
In addition, Pukhov stressed, the deployment of military in Iran is a new stage in the relations between the two countries. “Iran is sensitive about various kinds of foreign troops. Real military cooperation is trust, not just the arms trade”, concludes Pukhov.