In the morning of May 25, 2021, three strategic Tu-22M3s landed safely at the airfield for the first time after the close-up of works to expand the runway, build additional taxiways and aircraft parking lots.
The arrival of heavy combat aircraft in Syria is timed to coincide with the Syrian presidential elections due on May 26, as a demonstration of the Russian military and political leadership's determination to fulfill its allied obligations aimed at ensuring this country's security. The Russian command does not comment on the arrival of powerful weapons at the air base and gives little guidance on the duration of the bombers' stay outside their home stations.
At the same time, it stands to reason that this does not only serve as a demonstration of the Russian army's military capabilities, but also provides a real warning to those who may be willing to aggravate the military-political situation in Syria and around it.
A few days ago, US CENTCOM commander General Kenneth McKenzie visited Syria's north-eastern regions controlled by the anti-government Pentagon-oriented Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Prior to his visit, he ordered an additional 30 Bradley armored personnel carriers and several avionics suits to be brought to the area.
The American general held talks with SDF commander Mazloum Abdi, who was assured of unwavering support to the Kurdish formations and central administration in their efforts to create an "independent Syrian Kurdistan" and of all the possible military and economic assistance. Kenneth McKenzie welcomed the Kurdish leadership's decision to keep separate from the election campaign and its waiver of any negotiations with the official Syrian authorities.
He stressed that the administration of Joe Biden intends to stay on track with the former US president to preserve sanctions against the Syrian government and will maintain the US 900-marine-strong presence in the country. However, unlike the previous authorities, who set them the task of "protecting oil fields from terrorists," the new administration sees the purpose of the military presence as "helping the Syrian people." This might be the reason why the US Congress decided to unfreeze Syrian state assets in US banks worth $50 million and use those to support the Syrians. Those loyal to Washington, naturally enough...
The general described the deployment of additional American military equipment in the area as a message to the Russians, who have no time to joke with the Americans in the region.
According to the Syrian SANA news agency, May 24 saw 86 oil tankers accompanied by a larger number of American armored personnel carriers pass into the Syrian territory through the illegal Al-Walid border checkpoint at the Iraqi-Syrian border. In two or three days, we should expect the oil-filled tanker column reverse movement.
Syria, along with Russia, has repeatedly addressed the UN raising the issue of the ongoing US plunder of its natural resources, but most members of the international community remain tight-lipped about supporting protests voiced by Damascus, fearing retaliation from the United States.
In a situation of this kind, Moscow and Tehran are Damascus' real allies in the ongoing conflict. At the same time, Russia is already preparing the Syrian army for resolute action to further liberate the country's territory from illegal armed groups, without reference to the West and regional players. There is a good chance that these actions will be taken after the presidential election is over in Syria.