Russian forces will practice simulated militant camp bombing using four Tu-22M3 bombers in exercises with Uzbekistan near the latter’s border with Afghanistan.
In the clearest indication ever that Moscow intends to hit at Taliban targets, the Russian MoD announced Thursday; “The Tu-22M3 will take off from an airfield in the Saratov region, fly to the Termez training ground and practice the tasks of delivering group bombing strikes against conditional camouflaged militant camps and ammunition depots during a joint Russian-Uzbek exercise.”
"A pair of MiG-29 fighters of the Air Defense Forces and the Air Force of the Republic of Uzbekistan will provide cover for the Russian bombers," the ministry said.
This exercise will last until August 10 in the area bordering Afghanistan with a total of 1500 soldiers participating.
Tu-22M3 - long-range supersonic bomber is designed to engage naval and ground-based targets with guided missiles and aerial bombs.
In addition the exercise will involve assault aircraft from the Russian Kant airbase in Kyrgyzstan such as the Su-25 attack aircraft and Mi-8 helicopters, both of which were used extensively during Russia’s invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s.
The Taliban attempted an unsucessful bomb-and-gun attack on Defence Minister Bismillah Mohammadi Tuesday night in the Afghan capital of Kabul.
Taliban said Wednesday the Kabul raid was their doing, "The attack is the beginning of the retaliatory operations against the leaders of the Kabul administration who are ordering attacks and the bombing of different parts of the country," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement on social media.