GEOINT | New Russian Bases at North West Syria : Satellite Reconnaissance

GEOINT | New Russian Bases at North West Syria : Satellite Reconnaissance

By Various Sources

On September 22, 105 The Bashar Al Assad's government in Syria, confirmed the import of sophisticated military hardware and fighter jets from Russia — just as fresh satellite images purported to show the construction of two new Russian military bases in the northwest of the country, near the port of Latakia.

The Russian build-up is mostly centered on the Mediterranean port city's international airport, to the south, where dozens of warplanes and attack helicopters have arrived in recent weeks. Tanks, anti-aircraft systems, drones and 200 marines have also reportedly been sent, along with housing for up to 2,000 personnel. But the new satellite images from mid-September, published by defence research group IHS Jane's, appear to show preparations are under way to receive Russian forces at the Istamo weapons depot and the al-Sanobar military complex.

GEOINT | New Russian Bases at North West Syria : Satellite Reconnaissance

GEOINT | New Russian Bases at North West Syria : Satellite Reconnaissance

GEOINT | New Russian Bases at North West Syria : Satellite Reconnaissance


The arrival of the Russian warplanes raised concerns that Moscow was preparing to intervene directly to shore up President Assad, whose forces have suffered a series of defeats to rebel forces and jihadist militants from Islamic State (IS) this year. What is clearly visible is that a sizable air expeditionary force has been sent to the airbase at Latakia, including about 24 ground-attack Su-24 aircraft and a small number of multi-role Su-27 fighters. There are attack helicopters too and drones, along with the various additional ground elements needed to defend the base against attack.


GEOINT | New Russian Bases at North West Syria : Satellite Reconnaissance

The deployment, anticipated by an air bridge from Russia that involved several An-124 Condor airlifter flights (that we were able to track thanks to their Mode-S transponders) saw the aircraft arrive at al-Assad International Airport, near Latakia, the main Syrian port city, on Sept. 18.

GEOINT | New Russian Bases at North West Syria : Satellite Reconnaissance

Satellite Image Sources (accessed from public domain)
IHS Jane's Defense Research Group Reports
& GeoNorth Satellite by Distribution Airbus DS

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