Russia has flown in additional 24 fighter aircraft to Syria that include 12 Su-24 and 12 Su-25 fighters over the weekend. Four Su-30 fighters were flown last Friday.
In addition to the fighters, Russia also has begun flying unarmed drones on reconnaissance missions over Syria. The initial four aircraft are Su-30s.
“Twelve SU-25 “Frogfeet” and 12 SU-24 “Fencer” attack aircraft flew surreptitiously into Syria accompanying the now daily Condor cargo flights arriving in Latakia,” an unnamed US official was quoted as saying by AFP news agency Monday.
The number of Mi-17 and Mi-24 attack helicopters has grown to 15, nearly double the number of helicopters at the base last week, the official said.
A total of 36 armored personnel carriers, nine tanks and two air-defense missile systems are flown by Russia at the airfield in Latakia, the officials said.
The flow of additional Russian military equipment continues at the airfield in the Mediterranean city that is located in a stronghold of support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The ground vehicles and helicopters are consistent with the type of equipment that would presumably be needed to defend the new operations hub. It is believed that there are now more than 500 Russian military personnel operating at the airfield.
The Russian media usually vocal has been silent on the recent military deployments in Syria.