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Syria, Russia Start Joint Air Force Patrols Near Golan Heights

Syria, Russia Start Joint Air Force Patrols Near Golan Heights

Tuesday, 25 January, 2022 - 08:45
Russian and Syrian warplanes during a joint patrol in Syrian airspace (Russia Today)

Syrian and Russian military jets jointly patrolled the airspace along Syria’s borders on Monday and plan to make such flights regular, the Interfax news agency quoted Russia’s defense ministry as saying.

According to RIA Novosti, the Russian pilots took off from the Hmeimim Air Base, while the Syrian pilots departed from military airports in the vicinity of the Syrian capital, Damascus.

During the exercises, the Russian pilots carried out mock strikes against ground targets, while their Syrian counterparts worked to monitor the airspace and provide the necessary air cover.

Russian pilots used Su-34 and Su-35 fighters and the A50 early warning aircraft, while the Syrian pilots used the MiG-23 and MiG-29 aircrafts.

The path of the group included the Golan Heights, the armistice line with Israel that has seen regular Israeli air strikes against suspected Iranian and Hezbollah positions.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said such joint patrols are expected to be a regular occurrence moving forward.

In Tel Aviv, they considered these patrols “a message to Israel that Moscow is determined to strengthen the Assad regime’s position and reduce Israeli attacks in Syria.”

Syria on June 25, 2021. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP)

Syria and Russia held joint military jet patrols of the airspace along Syria’s borders on Monday, including in the Golan Heights area, according to a Russian Defense Ministry statement reported by Interfax.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is considered one of few allies of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

In other news, Russian and Syrian warplanes, for the first time in a year, flew over the airspace of northwestern Syria.

This coincided with ground bombardment by Syrian regime forces on de-escalation areas in the countryside of Idlib and Hama in northwest Syria.

Opposition sources reported no human or material losses.

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