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Russian jets use Iran airspace for Syria raids

TEHERAN

Russian warplanes are using Iran’s airspace to carry out airstrikes in Syria, an Iranian official said on Saturday.

“The fact that they (Russian bombers) use Iranian airspace continues because we have total strategic cooperation with Russia,” Admiral Ali Shamkhani told the Fars news agency.

Shamkhani is secretary of the Supreme National Security Council and Teheran’s coordinator of political, security and military actions with Russia.

“In the recent cases, Russian fighter planes have only used Iran’s airspace and have not had refueling operations,” Shamkhani added.

“The use of Iranian airspace by Russian aircraft is made subject to a joint decision, taking into account the need… to fight terrorism,” he told the Irna news agency.

The Russian planes’ use of Iran’s airspace will require arrangements and joint decisions that depend on the practical needs in the battleground, he explained.

Shamkhani was reportedly commenting on media reports that Russia’s Tupolev-22M long-range bombers had used Iranian airspace and a base in the country on their missions in Syria, where both Teheran and Moscow are backing President Bashar Al Assad’s government.

Agencies