Ted Cruz Can Relax
- Ted Cruz was thumping his chest in a quest for votes saying he would carpet bomb the Middle East. Not to worry, Putin is doing it for us.
Hmeimim Airbase (Syria) (Agence France-Presse) - A fully armed Sukhoi-24 bomber roared deafeningly down the runway at Russia's Hmeimim base in Syria and took off into the sky over the war-torn country.
Within a few minutes another jet laden with bombs hurtled along the tarmac after it and followed up towards the clouds. Then another, and another.
"From the time the pilot gets the order to when the plane takes off and the target is destroyed -- all that is normally completed in just some thirty minutes," spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said as he looks at another plane gearing up for a mission.
"If the objective is in Deir Ezzor province then it can take some 25 minutes to get there, if it's near Idlib, then just 10," Konashenkov told AFP as part of a tightly controlled press trip to Hmeimim organised by the defence ministry in Moscow.
Almost three months after Russia started its bombing campaign in Syria at the request of President Bashar al-Assad there seemed little sign of it letting up at Moscow's sprawling facility deep in the strongman's heartland.
Russia's military said Wednesday its jets had carried out 59 sorties and destroyed some 212 targets in the past 24 hours, adding to the roughly 9,000 training camps, munition depots, command posts and oil refineries they claim to have taken out overall.
At one end of the runway the radars of the most modern air defence system Russia's army possesses -- the S-400 -- rotated next to some half-dozen vast missile firing tubes.
The system can track some 300 targets and shoot down around three dozen simultaneously over a range of hundreds of kilometres, the military said.
"They are now permanently working on alert to provide full cover to our aviation flying over the whole of Syria and some of the Mediterranean," the commander told AFP.
"Russia, Putin -- mwah," said Mohammed Antar, a resident of Latakia who now drives a bus on the Russian base, blowing a kiss with his fingers.
"God is greatest," he sighed with awe as a Russian fighter took to the sky in front of him.
Russia's military said the nearest frontline has been pushed back from some 25 kilometres from the Hmeimim base to about 50 kilometres.
"For now life in here is okay, is safe," Antar told AFP with the help of a Russian military translator. "That is thanks to the Russians."Read More . . . .
|Massive launch of the Kalibr sea-based missiles was effectuated by the Rostov-on-Don submarine. It resulted in elimination of two important ISIS command centers in the Raqqah province.|
|Russian Tu-160 "Blackjack" refuels in the dawn light |
Bombing Syria from Russia
Russian long-range warplanes have carried out 145 sorties against Islamic State targets since joining the country’s anti-terror campaign in Syria in mid-November.
“In total, long-range aviation aircraft in Syria have carried out around 145 mission sorties, some 1,500 bombs have been dropped and about 20 cruise missiles have been fired," Gen. Anatoly Konovalov, deputy commander of Russia’s long-range aviation force, told Ekho Moskvy radio station.
The crews of Tu-22 (Blinder) and Tu-160 (Blackjack) strategic bombers took off from airfields in Russia and spent 16 hours in the air to fulfill their combat tasks in Syria, he added.
"It was extraordinary and new how the Tu-160s performed their sortie from our northern airfield of Olenegorsk, flying around Europe, entering the Mediterranean and by carrying out missile launches at IS targets in Syria. Notably, those targets were hit with high precision,” he added. Olenegorsk is in Russia’s northwestern Murmansk Region. (More)