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Middle East eyes Russian Su-34 bombers after Syria operation — arms exporter

Negotiations are underway with countries from the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, Asia

QUITOL (India), March 29. /TASS/. Foreign customers, in particular, some Middle East countries, are showing increased interest in Russian-made Sukhoi Su-34 fighter-bombers after Russia’s air task force successfully accomplished its anti-terror missions in Syria, Deputy CEO of Russia’s state arms exporter Rosoboronexport Sergey Goreslavsky said on Tuesday.

"No doubt, the interest has increased and I want to say that dozens of Rosoboronexport delegations are on foreign trips weekly and a very intensive process of negotiations is under way with countries from the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, Asia and so forth," Goreslavsky said at the Defexpo India-2016 arms show.

"Following the results of this operation [in Syria], the interest in Su-34 bombers has increased. Several countries are showing the most substantive interest in this machine. They are from the Middle East but I won’t name them," he said.

The Rosoboronexport deputy CEO said the Russian state arms exporter had initiated work a year ago to prepare an export configuration certificate for the Su-34 bomber.

Russia started its operation in Syria on September 30, 2015 at the request of Syrian President Bashar Assad to fight militants of the Islamic State and other terrorist groupings in the Arab country.

The operation involved the Russian Aerospace Force and Navy. It was also reported that Russian special forces were involved in the Syria operation. Russia deployed some most advanced military hardware at the Khmeimim airbase in Syria, including Su-34 bombers and Su-35 fighter jets.

Russia withdrew the basic contingent of its forces from Syria from March 15 but its air task force continues delivering strikes against terrorists.