During the afternoon, a Russian strategic long-range warplane dropped a total of 10 bombs on Abu Duhur Airbase in what was said to have caused massive explosions.

According to information obtained by al-Masdar, this specific air raid was conducted by a Tupolev Tu-160 which can carry up to 20,000 kg of explosives.

The Tu-160 was flanked by two Sukhoj Su-35 fighter jets which provided cover for the large strategic bomber.

In the aftermath, at least 20 Jabhat al-Nusra militants were killed; 3 of whom were platoon commanders. Some names of the dead fighters were released by the Syrian al-Qaeda group this evening:
-Abu Turab
-Abu Al-Sheima`a
-Abu Batol
-Abu Seif
-Zaid Al-Hamwi
-Abu Al-Tuqa
-Abu Muhammad Al-Ansari

Furthermore, Abu Hajer – prominent al-Nusra Emir of the Syrian steppe (al-Badia) – was reportedly critically injured in the Russian bomber attack.

Meanwhile, a total of 8 Russian jets were operational during the day (confirmed) in the provinces of Aleppo and Idlib, targeting various Islamist rebel groups.

The Tu-160’s first air raid in Syria was carried out in November, 2015 but has since rarely been put into action by Russian pilots.

Abu Duhur Airbase was seized by Jabhat al-Nusra and aligned insurgents in early September of 2015 after government troops succumbed to a 3-year long siege.

The Islamist capture came into effect after a heavy sandstorm engulfed southern Idlib, thus preventing the Syrian Arab Army from receiving much needed air cover.

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Student currently living in Denmark. Special focus on news from Syria, MENA map-making and strategical military analysis.

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Michael Hovannesjan
Michael Hovannesjan
2016-05-12 23:58
Nikko Moutafoglou
Nikko Moutafoglou
2016-05-13 00:02

Lol, i prophecyd it 5 Hours b4 it happened: https://twitter.com/Achillus1/status/730837083196162048

daeshit sucks
daeshit sucks
2016-05-13 05:27

Yup, but the huge Tu-160 (which carries 40T and not 20T bombs) was overkill : a Su-34 can drop 12x1T bombs, why sending such an enormous bomber just for 10 bombs?

Catfish
Catfish
2016-05-13 22:30
Reply to  daeshit sucks

The only reason I see for that class of plane to deliver ten bombs is if they were big or from a classified project doing combat testing. Russia should combat test the vacuum bomb, aka “father of all bombs” in Syria on these known groupings of isis and nusra are at refineries and other places without civilians unless they are there working for terrorists. They may refrain from it if though if the target can be taken back fairly intact instead of smoking ruins. It packs about 75 percent of the punch as the bomb dropped on Hiroshima with non… Read more »

daeshit sucks
daeshit sucks
2016-05-13 01:44

In fact, the White-Swan (Tu-160) can carry up to 40,000kg of ordnance. I really don’t get the interest of sending a strategic bomber to only launch 10 bombs : a Su-34 is able to carry up to 12x1000kg bombs. The White-Swan could make an all-around the country tour and blow 80 or 160 targets with 500kg or 250kg guided bombs or perform a Vietnam-style carpet bombing… It looks more as a message to Erdog or a way to show that Russia don’t let the friends down but in this case, a tactical aircraft like the Su-34 would have been more… Read more »

Wulfrano Ruiz Sainz
Wulfrano Ruiz Sainz
2016-05-13 09:21

Haven’t all ISIS nutballs gone to h**l yet?

Chris Tomson
Chris Tomson
2016-05-13 19:29

Arguably the most awesome warplane in the world.

Daniel Honz
Daniel Honz
2016-05-14 01:49