From Fort Russ
Il Fatto Italiano, February 1, 2016
Translated from Italian by Tom Winter, February 2, 2016
“In Latakia, the hunt for Russian missiles”. Israeli Institute publishes satellite photos. Moscow: “That’s how we fight jihadists.”
The images, which will be shown on Tuesday by the Fisher Institute* at a conference on space research in Herzlyia, Israel, show how Moscow has deployed eleven Sukhoi 24s, ten Sukhoi 25s, seven Sukhoi 34s and four Sukhoi 30 – all combat aircraft, plus S400 batteries and SA22 missile systems. It has been known for months that they were, but now they will also be visible.
Moscow has deployed a large number of warplanes and missile batteries in Latakia, Syria, where Russia has pledged to support the regime of Bashar Al Assad. This is revealed by a series of satellite photos that will be displayed Tuesday by the Fisher Institute at a conference on space research at Herzlyia.
In particular pictures show S400 missile batteries as well as SA22 missile systems. On the tarmac there are 30 Russian fighter jets.
The Israeli institution said in a communique that it has been analyzing the photographs which were taken days ago by the Israeli satellite Eros, which is run by the ISI (ImageSat International).
According to the director of the Tal Inbar Space Research Center, the S400 batteries are now operational, and SA22 batteries are in place beside them. It is an upgrade of the defensive measures, due perhaps – the director feels – to the fear of a possible military escalation with Turkey.
On the day that the photos were taken, according to the Fisher Institute, on the Latakia tarmac were noted eleven Sukhoi 24s, ten Sukhoi 25s, seven Sukhoi 34s and four Sukhoi 30s — all Russian air combat planes.
According to analysts, it is possible that on that day there were other planes not on field, but out flying missions. Among the gear that the Kremlin’s military leaders have placed in Latakia are some Sukhoi 24s that have been re-engined due to wear during the repeated attacks carried out against the Islamic State and the rebel forces that are fighting the Damascus regime.
The Russian Defense Ministry has confirmed deploying its newest jets in Syria, the Su35s, spearhead of the Russian Air Force. The ministry has also let it be known that its use of long-range bombers prevented the jihadists from “assaulting” the area of Deir ez-Zor.
*Founded by the Israeli Air Force Association. For more on the Fisher Institute, click here.