Russia Launches Airstrikes From Iran Again, Reportedly Killing 150 ISIS Fighters

For second day in a row, Russian bombers took off from Iranian base to target Islamic State positions in Syria, this time taking out two command posts.

Sukhoi Su-27 jet fighters of the Russkiye Vityazi aerobatic team fly in formation in Dubrovichi outside Ryazan, Russia, August 5, 2016.
Reuters

REUTERS - Russian SU-34 bombers based at Iran's Hamadan air base on Wednesday carried out strikes on Islamic State targets inside Syria for a second day, the Interfax news agency quoted Russia's defense ministry as saying. 

The ministry was quoted as saying two command posts had been destroyed and more than 150 militants killed in the strikes. 

On Tuesday long-range Russian Tupolev-22M3 bombers and Sukhoi-34 fighter bombers used Iran's Hamadan air base to strike a range of targets in Syria for the first time, in a move underscoring Moscow's increasingly close ties with Tehran.

Russia’s Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Iran’s Hassan Rouhani after the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly, New York, September 28, 2015.
AP

It was the first time Russia has used the territory of another nation, apart from Syria itself, to launch such strikes since the Kremlin launched a bombing campaign to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in September last year.

It was also thought to be the first time that Iran has allowed a foreign power to use its territory for military operations since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

The Iranian deployment will boost Russia's image as a central player in the Middle East and allow the Russian air force to cut flight times and increase bombing payloads.

The head of Iran's National Security Council was quoted by state news agency IRNA as saying Tehran and Moscow were now sharing facilities to fight against terrorism, calling their cooperation strategic.

Both countries back Assad, and Russia, after a delay, has supplied Iran with its S-300 missile air defense system, evidence of a growing partnership between the pair that has helped turn the tide in Syria's civil war and is testing U.S. influence in the Middle East.