Satellite imagery reveals extensive damage to a strategically significant airbase in central Syria used by Russian forces after an attack by Islamic State.
Four helicopters and 20 vehicles were destroyed in a series of fires inside the base last week, the images from intelligence company Stratfor suggest.
Stratfor military analyst Sim Tack said:
“What the imagery tells us is that first of all this was not an accidental explosion, as some of the rumours kept saying, it shows very clearly that there are several different sources of explosions across the airport, and it shows that the Russians took a quite a bad hit.
An entire combat helicopter unit was wiped out – four helicopters in total – as well as some damage to some of the Syrian planes on the airport, and also very notably a logistic depot, likely one that was being used to supply those specific combat helicopters.”
The cause of the fires is unconfirmed and the Russian military has denied that it lost helicopters at the base.