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Expert names Russian aircraft that may be used in Syria

September 30, 2015, 12:38 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The expert also noted that Russian Army forces in Syria will be needed to protect Russian airbases used in the operation of the Russian Air Force against Islamic State
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Su-25 attack aircraft

Su-25 attack aircraft

© ITAR-TASS/Yuriy Smityuk

MOSCOW, September 30. /TASS/. The chairman of the Russian State Duma’s defense committee named on Wednesday possible elements of aviation to be used in Syria.

"Of course, preference will be given to aviation - ground attack aircraft, reconnaissance aircraft - these are our Sukhoi type planes, in particular Su-25 "Grach". Also fighter-bomber planes can be used as they are universal," Admiral Vladimir Komoyedov told TASS.

"Certainly helicopters, that are capable of hitting these aims [of Islamic State]," he added. In reply to the question why an air operation had been decided upon, he said "first of all, these operations bring minimum losses".

"Secondly, Islamic State does not have air defense system, may be just portable Stinger [air defense systems]," he continued. "Thirdly, if aircraft are used correctly, it is an efficient means of destruction, especially on desert-like terrain," he added.

Russian Army forces in Syria needed to protect airbases

The expert also noted that Russian Army forces in Syria will be needed to protect Russian airbases used in the operation of the Russian Air Force against Islamic State.

"Of course, some ground troops will be necessary. Not to conduct an offensive or a combat operation, but to protect our sites where aircraft, our councilors, etc. are stationed," Admiral Vladimir Komoyedov told TASS.

In reply to the question whether it would be necessary to send warships, the admiral said "a naval group is already deployed there on a permanent basis.".

"As far as I am informed, the Moskva [guided missile] cruiser is already there, and a Chinese aircraft carrier has arrived," he noted. According to him, "enough forces are concentrated there to support air and ground operations".

Earlier on Wednesday, the upper house of Russian parliament granted permission to the Russian president to use the Russian Armed Forces in Syria. "The Federation Council unanimously supported the president’s request - 162 votes in favor [of granting permission]," Russian presidential administration chief Sergey Ivanov said. The armed forces will be used exclusively in Syria, he added.

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