Russia Sends more Advanced "Tupolev Tu-214R" planes to Syria

Friday, 29 July, 2016 - 19:00

Military sources announced early on Friday that one of the most advanced spy planes of the Russian Army has arrived in the coastal province of Lattakia.

The Russian manufactured “Tupolev Tu-214R” has reportedly flown to the Hmeimim airbase outside the Syrian coastal city of Jableh in Southern Lattakia.

The Tu-214R will likely be used to track terrorist movements around the country, which is similar to what was originally used for before the ceasefire agreement.

“The aircraft is known to carry sensor packages to perform ELINT (Electronic Intelligence) and SIGINT (Signal Intelligence) missions: the antennae of the Tu-214R can intercept the signals emitted by the enemy systems (radars, aircraft, radios, combat vehicles, mobile phones etc) so as it can build the EOB (Electronic Order of Battle) of the enemy forces: where the enemy forces are operating, what kind of equipment they are using and, by eavesdropping into their radio/phone communications, what they are doing and what will be their next move.”

Russia’s presidential spokesman announced last week that sending more soldiers to Syria remains in place.

“When the decision was made to cut the number of personnel of our aviation contingent in Syria, you remember the statement of both the Russian president and the military, who said that the temporary infrastructure in Syria remained and therefore the contingent could be increased very quickly, if necessary. This will be done in accordance with the relevant tasks,” Dmitry Peskhov said.

“Such prospects increasing Russian personnel in Syria were declared by the president rather long ago,” he added.

The Russian military drew down some of its forces in Syria in mid-March. While termed a withdrawal at the time, the Russians left a sizable air contingent in the country which helped the Syrian Army liberate Palmyra from ISIL two weeks after the withdrawal.

Russian President Vladimir Putin did make clear at the time that Russia would reserve the right to build its forces back up in Syria if necessary.

Russia initially intervened in the country’s conflict last September 30 on the side of the Syrian government, helping it to advance on several fronts for the first time in months.

Russia has reportedly agreed to a US proposal to coordinate militarily for the first time in Syria against Fatah al-Sham Front (an al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group known previously as al-Nusra Front).

Washington said coordination could begin once the Russians stop the Syrian Air Force from bombing certain areas and groups in the country and convince it to abide by the outcome of negotiations, which could involve Syrian President Bashar Assad stepping down as part of a transitional process.