Date
27 July 2017
A still image, taken from video footage released by Russia on August 18, shows a Sukhoi Su-34 fighter-bomber based at Iran's Hamadan air base dropping off bombs in the Syrian province of Deir ez-Zor. Credit: Reuters
A still image, taken from video footage released by Russia on August 18, shows a Sukhoi Su-34 fighter-bomber based at Iran's Hamadan air base dropping off bombs in the Syrian province of Deir ez-Zor. Credit: Reuters

Russia says it stopped using Iran air base to bomb Syria targets

Russia said on Monday that its aircraft are no longer using Iran’s Hamadan air base to conduct strikes in Syria, as the military has “successfully completed all tasks”.

“Russian military aircraft that took part in the operation of conducting air strikes from Iran’s Hamadan air base on terrorist targets in Syria have successfully completed all tasks,” a Russian Defence Ministry spokesman said, according to Reuters.

“Further use of the Hamadan air base in the Islamic Republic of Iran by the Russian Aerospace Forces will be carried out on the basis of mutual agreements to fight terrorism and depending on the prevailing circumstances in Syria,” the spokesman was quoted as saying in a statement.

Iran’s foreign ministry earlier said that Russia had stopped using the base for strikes in Syria, bringing an abrupt halt to an unprecedented deployment that was criticized both by the White House and by some Iranian lawmakers.

Last week, long-range Russian Tupolev-22M3 bombers and Sukhoi-34 fighter bombers used the air base near Hamadan to launch air strikes against armed groups in Syria.

It was the first time a foreign power had used an Iranian base since World War Two.

Some Iranian lawmakers called the move a breach of Iran’s constitution which forbids “the establishment of any kind of foreign military base in Iran, even for peaceful purposes”.

Russia and Iran are both providing crucial military support to President Bashar al-Assad against rebels and jihadi fighters in Syria’s five-year-old conflict.

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