Support The Moscow Times!

U.S. Officials Say Russian Helicopters Spotted at Syria Airfield

The United States has identified a small number of Russian helicopters at a Syrian airfield, U.S. officials said Wednesday, the latest addition to what Washington believes is a significant Russian military buildup in the country.

One of the officials said four helicopters had been identified, including helicopter gunships, although it was not clear when the Russian helicopters had arrived there. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity.

Previous reports have cited U.S. assessments as saying that Russia has sent about 200 naval infantry forces, battle tanks, artillery and other equipment to an airfield near Latakia, a stronghold of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The Pentagon has said Russia's movement of equipment and personnel suggest preparations to establish an air operations hub in Syria, where a U.S.-led coalition is carrying out airstrikes against Islamic State militants.

Moscow and Washington have said their enemy is Islamic State, whose fighters control part of Syria.

Russia supports Assad's government, while the United States has said Assad's presence is fueling the 4.5-year civil war in Syria.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

The Moscow Times’ team of journalists has been first with the big stories on the coronavirus crisis in Russia since day one. Our exclusives and on-the-ground reporting are being read and shared by many high-profile journalists.

We wouldn’t be able to produce this crucial journalism without the support of our loyal readers. Please consider making a donation to The Moscow Times to help us continue covering this historic time in the world’s largest country.