#Maps #Graphics #Syria
- On January 23, Russia reported that Idlib militants violated the ceasefire regime in Greater Idlib 3 times: 1 – in Idlib province, 1 – in Aleppo province, 1 – in Latakia province;
- On January 23, an SAA serviceman was killed in the Nayrab area in Idlib province;
- On January 23, the Russian Military Police and Turkish forces conducted a joint patrol on the outskirts of Ain al-Arab;
- On January 23, Gen. Ali Mahmoud Abbas, the Minister of Defense of Syria met with Gen. Mohammad Bagheri, the Chief of the General Staff Iran’s Armed Forces in Tehran.
The Russian Arab Army (SAA) has reactivated Jirah Air Base in the northern Syrian governorate of Aleppo with help from the Russian military, Syrian pro-government news sources reported on January 22.
The air base, which is located some 66 kilometers to the east of Aleppo city, was out of service for years. On 12 February 2013, it was captured by militants from the Ahrar al-Sham Movement and several Free Syrian Army factions. Less than a year later, it fell under ISIS control. The SAA liberated the air base on 12 May 2017 from the terrorist group and had it fully secured by May 29.
The SAA reactivated the air base earlier this month in an official ceremony that was attended by senior officers from the Russian military group in Syria.
The air base features a main runway with a length of 3,1 kilometers and has 12 hardened aircraft shelters, some of which were destroyed during the battles with ISIS.
Footage from the reactivation ceremony revealed that the SAA has deployed Russian-made Pantsir-S1 short-range and Buk-M2E medium range air defense systems at the air base, which is stationed near key fronts with the Turkish military in northern Aleppo and Kurdish forces in neighboring Raqqa.
A new training facility for special and airborne operations was also established in the air base to support the SAA’s elite 25th Special Mission Forces Division, mostly known by their former name the Tiger Forces.
In addition, the Russian military will maintain a presence at the air base. An unknown number of warplanes of the Russian Aerospace Forces has been already deployed there.
The reactivation of Jirah Air Base will support Syrian and Russian aerial operations in the entire northern region. The air base also closes a large gap in Syria’s early warning and air defense network, limiting the movements of the Turkish Military and the United States-led coalition.
It’s worth noting that Russia has been working to expand its military presence in northern Syria for a few years now, with the main focus being on Aleppo, Raqqa and al-Hasakah.