RFL/RE – Russian warplanes conducted air strikes against targets in Syria using aircraft based in Iran for the second straight day.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said several Su-34 strike fighters left the Hamadan air field in northwestern Iran to strike targets in Syria’s Deir ez-Zor province on August 17, and all aircraft returned safely.
The ministry’s statement claimed “more than 150 militants, including foreign mercenaries, were killed.”
Meanwhile a source in Russia’s Foreign Ministry says Moscow rejects U.S. claims that the Kremlin’s decision to conduct air strikes against targets in Syria from a base in Iran violates a UN resolution.
“The American interpretation of the UN Security Council resolution is wrong and perplexing,” a Foreign Ministry source told Interfax on August 17.
After Moscow began carrying out the strikes on August 16, U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the operation could violate a resolution banning the provision of combat aircraft to Iran.
The speaker of Iran’s parliament, Ali Larijani, said on August 17 that Russia does not have a permanent military base in Iran, but stressed that Iran enjoys “good cooperation with Russia and we say that loud and clear.”