Executive Intelligence Review


Russian, Syrian Air Strikes Resume against Jihadis in Idlib

Sept. 4, 2018 (EIRNS)—Russian and Syrian war planes resumed air strikes against jihadi positions in Idlib province in Syria early today, according to two reports by Al Masdar News. Until today there had been a break in air strikes since the Eid Al-Adha holiday.

Al Masdar reported first that Syrian jets flying out of Homs and Latakia began hitting Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (al Nusra) and Turkestan Islamic Party positions in western Idlib. A couple of hours later, it reported that Russian jets had joined the campaign. A military source said that at least 10 Russian Sukhoi jets launched dozens of airstrikes over the southern and western parts of the Idlib Governorate. “With the large Russian bombardment, the Syrian Arab Army’s long-awaited offensive is bound to start in the next few days,” writes Al Masdar’s Leith Aboufadel.

Al Jazeera reported later that at least 23 air strikes, by both Syrian and Russian warplanes, hit the area this morning.

At the same time, the Russian naval exercise off the coast of Syria has been underway since Sept. 1. Al Masdar reported a couple of days ago that a pair of Russian Tu-142 maritime patrol aircraft (the naval version of the Tu-95 Bear bomber), escorted by Su-30SM fighter jets, had arrived at the Russian base in Latakia to participate in the exercise.

This exercise will now include 26 surface ships, 2 submarines and 34 aircraft. TASS reported today on a Defense Ministry statement yesterday describing the air refueling practice carried out by Russian planes after the eastern Mediterranean Sea.