Russian Su-30 tactical fighter jets spotted in northern Syria over
Hemimim airbase in Latakia.
Russia has moved jet fighters to a base in Syria for the first time, U.S. defense officials said Friday, a major military escalation that heightens fears Moscow is set to play a more direct role in propping up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Russia’s recent movements near Syria’s city of Latakia suggest that Moscow plans to establish a “forward air operating base” there, the US has said.
Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis said there had been a steady flow of people and equipment in the coastal area.
Russia says military equipment is being sent to Syria to help the government combat the so-called Islamic State.
Moscow has been a key ally of President Assad during Syria’s bloody civil war, which began in 2011.