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The Russians are in Syria First photographs from Moscow's launching pad in Latakia

Источник: Meduza
Photo: Dmitriy Vinogradov / RIA Novosti / Scanpix

On September 30, Russia launched a bombing campaign in Syria. Moscow's stated aim is aiding Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the war against ISIL, though Russian aircraft have largely attacked areas under the control of the anti-Assad Syrian opposition, where there are few or no ISIL forces. The United States warns Russia that attacking the rebels will only prolong the conflict, which has raged for more than four years already. Though Moscow's airstrikes are already entering their sixth day, photographs from the Khmeimim airbase in Latakia, the launching pad for Russian bombers, are only emerging now. Meduza presents some of these first images.

Photo: Dmitriy Vinogradov / RIA Novosti / Scanpix

Technicians walk past Russian Sukhoi Su-25 Frogfoot ground-attack planes at Syria's Khmeimim airbase. October 1, 2015.

Photo: Dmitriy Vinogradov / RIA Novosti / Scanpix

Technicians service a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 Fencer tactical bomber at Khmeimim airbase. October 1, 2015.

Photo: Dmitriy Vinogradov / RIA Novosti / Scanpix

Technicians service a Russian airplane at Khmeimim airbase. October 1, 2015.

Photo: Dmitriy Vinogradov / RIA Novosti / Scanpix

Two Russian Sukhoi Su-24 jets at Khmeimim airbase. October 3, 2015.

Photo: Dmitriy Vinogradov / RIA Novosti / Scanpix

Russian pilots accept a ready report from a mechanics commander before taking off from Khmeimim airbase. October 4, 2015.

Photo: TASS / Scanpix

Russian Sukhoi Su-34 fighter jet pilots at Khmeimim airbase. October 4, 2015.

Photo: Dmitriy Vinogradov / RIA Novosti / Scanpix

Russian pilots near a Su-24 aircraft, before taking off from Khmeimim airbase. October 4, 2015.

Photo: Dmitriy Vinogradov / RIA Novosti / Scanpix

Russian pilots near a Su-24 aircraft before a mission. Khmeimim airbase. October 4, 2015.

Photo: TASS / Scanpix

A pilot of a Russian aircraft at Khmeimim airbase. October 4, 2015.

Photo: TASS / Scanpix

Russia's Sukhoi Su-30 fighter aircraft at Khmeimim airbase. October 4, 2015.

Photo: Dmitriy Vinogradov / RIA Novosti / Scanpix

Russian Su-25 aircraft take off from Khmeimim airbase in Syria. October 4, 2015.

Photo: Dmitriy Vinogradov / RIA Novosti / Scanpix

A Russian IL-76 transport aircraft prepares for takeoff from Khmeimim airbase. October 4, 2015.

Photo: TASS / Scanpix

Russia's Sukhoi Su-24 attack aircraft at Khmeimim airbase. October 4, 2015.

Photo: Dmitriy Vinogradov / RIA Novosti / Scanpix

A Russian Mi-24 helicopter flies over Khmeimim airbase. October 4, 2015.

Photo: Dmitriy Vinogradov / RIA Novosti / Scanpix

Russian Su-24s take off from Hmeimim base. October 3, 2015.