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MOSCOW, August 16. /TASS/. The anti-terror coalition of Russia, Syria, Iran and Iraq has proved to be highly effective in fighting terrorism in the Middle East, Senior Senator Franz Klintsevich told journalists on Tuesday commenting on reports that Russian bombers took off from an Iranian base to carry out a mission against IS in Syria.
"In my opinion, now we have all grounds to say that the anti-terrorist coalition of Russia, Syria, Iran and Iraq has not been only set up, but is showing greater efficiency. I think new forms of cooperation between these countries in the battle against IS can soon be expected," said Klintsevich, the First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee for Defense and Security.
Klintsevich said that by using the Hamadan airport in Iran, Russia’s aviation will shorten the flight time and increase security and efficiency of its sorties.
"Finally and maybe most importantly is that by providing the Iranian base for Russian Tu-22M3 aircraft use will enhance strategic cooperation between both countries, which would positively influence the entire situation in the Middle East," he stressed.
Earlier in the day, the Russian Defense Ministry said long-range bombers Tu-22M3 and frontline bombers Su-34 took off from the Hamadan air base in Iran and pounded the facilities of the Islamic State and Jabhat Al-Nusra terror groups in Aleppo, Deir ez-Zor and Idlib. The warplanes demolished five large armament depots, three command posts and militants’ training camps in Syria used by terrorists for operations in Aleppo.
This is the first time Russian planes have used an Iranian airfield for an operation in Syria. On all previous occasions Russia’s long-range bombers operated from airstrips in Russia, and front-line bombers from Hmeymim in Syria.