The Russian Defense Ministry on Wednesday denied reports that the military has deployed forces to two previously unused airbases in Syria, claiming there would be no need for the additional real estate, the TASS news agency reported, citing spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov.
“You don't need to be a military expert to understand that [the current airbase] Khmeimim, where the Russian air group is stationed, only requires 30 to 40 minutes of flying for any Russian aircraft to reach either edge of Syria,” Konashenov said.
The Defense Ministry spokesman lashed out at those perpetuating reports that Russia is deploying to additional bases in north-west Syria as “armchair strategists” speculating on developments that have no operational logic.
On Monday, the Kommersant newspaper reported that the military was preparing to set up shop at two new airbases in Syria, citing unidentified Defense Ministry sources. In recent ministry press briefings, journalists have spotted Russian aircraft depicted at those locations on a large map of Syria.