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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Acting on secret Obama-Putin Syria deal, Moscow’s air strikes focus first on rebels, next on ISIS

The secret deal for a political solution for the Syria conflict reached by Presidents Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Antalya over the weekend has radically changed and intensified Russia’s air strike tactics in the last 24 h ours.

 For the first time since the intensified Russian military intervention in the Syrian civil war in the last week of September, Russian air force planes took off Tuesday, Nov. 17 for attacks on Syrian rebel and ISIS targets, from a home base, the Morozovsk airbase in the southern Rostov district. Until now, the Russian bombers had taken off from Hmeymim airbase near Latakia.

Also for the first time, they lofted Tupolev Tu-160 and Tupolev Tu-95 bombers. The Tupolev Tu-160 Blackjack is a long-range strategic bomber and the biggest combat aircraft in the world, while the Tu-95 Bear is a huge strategic bomber with four turboprop-powered engines that is also used to launch missiles. (READ MORE)