Russian daily edition Kommersant informed with reference to its sources in military operational command that the Russian General Staff decided to test their newest Su-35S fighter jets in combat in Syria, Joinfo.ua reports.
According to unofficial information, four Su-35S, which were produced in October-November 2015 at aircraft plant in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, have originally joined the 23th Fighter Aviation Regiment of the 303rd Guards Composite Air Division of the 11th Army Air Force and Air Defense of the Eastern Military District (Dzemgi airfield), and then were sent to Astrakhan (airfield Volga).
However, a few days ago the jets flew from Astrakhan and the Caspian Sea, through the airspace of Iran and Iraq and reached the Syrian Latakia. As Kommersant reports, according to an officer in the General Staff, the mixed air group on Russia’s airbase Hmeymim in Syria consists of more than 70 airplanes and helicopters.
As Kommersant also said, a new incident in the airspace of Turkey on the background of the war of nerves increases the risk of direct confrontation between Moscow and Ankara, threatening the region of conflict with unpredictable consequences.
It should be recalled that according to the statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, at 11.46 hours local time of January, 29, 2016, a SU-34 type Russian aircraft violated Turkish airspace.
“Before the violation actually took place, Russian plane was warned numerous times by Turkish air radar units, (through appropriate channels) both in English and Russian languages,” – stated the Turkish ministry.
Turkish ministry also informed that Russian Ambassador to Ankara has been summoned to the MFA yesterday evening.