Russian combat aircraft have been spotted in Syria raising concerns Moscow may launch strikes to support the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
The Sukhoi Su-30 is a twin-engine, two seat fighter aircraft developed by Russia’s Sukhoi Aviation Corporation. It is a multirole fighter for all-weather, air-to-air and air-to-surface interdiction missions.
It is also rumoured that Russia has sent combat vehicles including helicopters and armoured personnel carriers to Syria.
Russia has previously confirmed it has sent personnel to Syria to oversee arms deliveries, this was the first official confirmation of an expanded Russian presence in the country.
This comes after the United States attempts to halt a suspected Russian military buildup in Syria by asking various countries to close their airspace to Russian transport aircraft bound for Syria. Bulgaria publicly sided with the US and denied access to the transport aircraft. Despite attempts to hinder the Russian deployment, Antonov An-124 transport aircraft have now landed in Latakia, Syria.
Vladimir Djabarov, vice-president of Russia’s foreign affairs council, told state press agency Tass that the aircraft contained only “humanitarian cargo”. This is now known to be incorrect.
The Russian aircraft raise fears of an accidental encounter as coalition aircraft fly over Syria to combat Islamic State.