Tel Aviv: While the Russian army is concentrating its forces on the Ukrainian border, its pilots began conducting joint patrols with the Syrian air force, some near the Israeli border. Advanced fighter jets of the Russian air force took part in reconnaissance flights near the Golan Heights, and according to the announcement of the Russian Ministry of Defense those flights “will continue on a regular basis”.
According to the Russian announcement, pilots of the Russian and Syrian air forces conducted a joint air patrol in the Golan Heights and the Euphrates River. “The mission route was the Golan Heights, the southern border of Syria, the Euphrates River and northern Syria,” the statement said. “The Russian pilots took off from a Hmeimim base, while the Syrians took off from two airbases near Damascus.”
According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, among the aircraft patrolled were also the newest fighter jets of the Russian air force, the Sukhoi 35 multi-mission fighter jet, which entered service in 2014. In addition, the A-50 AEW and command and control aircraft also participated in the training – as well as the MiG-23 and MiG-29 from the Syrian air force.
“According to the official announcement, during the mission, the Syrian pilots controlled the airspace and provided cover, while the Russian crews practiced attacks on ground targets. “The pilots of the two countries have developed skills for cooperation in different situations. These joint missions will continue on a regular basis,” Moscow added.