BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:00 P.M.) – For the first time since April, the U.S. military has conducted a flight near the Russian Armed Forces’ largest base inside Syria.
According to the data from the aerial monitoring site, PlaneRadar, a U.S. Navy Boeing P-8A Poseidon aircraft was spotted off of Syria’s western coast, as it approached the Hmeimim Airbase from the west.
The U.S. aircraft reportedly took off from the Italian Sigonella Airbase and made its way to the eastern Mediterranean before approaching the Hmeimim Airbase on Sunday.
— PlaneRadar (@ua4wiy_) May 17, 2020
Last month, the Russian military deployed its Su-35 jets to intercept the U.S. aircraft that approached the base; however, it appears this time around, the Russian Air Force did not fly towards the American plane.
The base was handed over the Russian military in 2015 when they began their campaign against terrorist groups such as Daesh and the Al-Nusra Front at the request of the Syrian authorities.
The base is the most heavily defended Russian military facility abroad. It has a contingent of fighter aircraft as well as S-400 air defence systems.
The development comes after a similar reconnaissance flight was conducted near the base at the end of April and another one near Russia’s borders with the Baltic States.