Russia may resume Syria operations from Iran airbase: Envoy
Iran Press TV
Mon Aug 22, 2016 2:51PM
The Russian ambassador to Iran says Russia's Aerospace Forces may resume operations against terrorists in Syria from an Iranian airbase upon a decision by the two countries' officials.
"Moscow sees no obstacles to further use of Iranian infrastructure, including the airbase in Hamedan, for strikes against terrorists in Syria," Levan Dzhagaryan said on Monday, Interfax reported.
"Interaction with Tehran on Syria has positive perspective," The Russian ambassador added.
The diplomat's remarks came after both Iran and Russia confirmed on Monday that Russian jets have ended using the Nojeh airbase near the western Iranian city of Hamedan for conducting airstrikes against terrorists in Syria.
"All Russian military currently left Iran's Hamedan airbase," Dzhagaryan said.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi also confirmed the halt and told reporters on Monday that Russia has stopped using the Iranian airbase for strikes in Syria.
"Russia neither has a base in Iran nor is it stationed [there]. It was a mission which has been conducted and concluded for now," Qasemi said in a presser.
Dzhagaryan further expressed hope that Iran and Russia would strengthen cooperation to help find a solution to the Syrian crisis.
Meanwhile, an informed source in Tehran told Interfax that the use of the Iranian airbase in Hamedan was ended based on a "Russia's decision."
The source added that Iran would continue providing Russia with further military infrastructure, not only the base in Hamadan, to fight terrorists in Syria.
In a statement on August 16, Russian Defense Ministry said the country's warplanes had taken off from an airbase in the western Iranian city of Hamedan to target Daesh Takfiri terrorists and other militants in Syria.
"On August 16, Tu-22M3 long-range bombers and Su-34 frontline bombers, flying with a full bomb load from the Hamedan air base, conducted a group air strike against targets" of Daesh and Jabhat Fath al-Sham terrorists in the Syrian provinces of Aleppo, Dayr al-Zawr and Idlib, the Russian ministry said.
According to the statement, the attacks destroyed a number of training camps, command centers, and large arms and fuel depots belonging to the militant groups near the village of Jafra and the city of Dayr al-Zawr, adding that a large number of militants were killed in the air raids.
Iran and Russia are Syria's main allies and have been assisting the government in Damascus in its fight against foreign-backed terrorist groups, including the Daesh Takfiri terrorists.
Since September 30, 2015, Russia has been conducting airstrikes against Daesh and other terrorist groups in Syria at the Syrian government's request.
Iran has also been providing advisory assistance to the Syrian government.
Syria has been gripped by a foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimates that over 400,000 people have been killed in the conflict.
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