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Huge Russian military planes land in Syria

5635d0f849ffb081a3c6a2de97e526f5da8af420A handout picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on December 10, 2013 shows …

Washington (AFP) – At least three Russian military transport planes have landed in Syria in recent days, US officials said Tuesday, as Washington worries about the sort of assistance Moscow is providing to Damascus.

The aircraft have landed at the airport in Latakia on Syria’s Mediterranean coast over the past several days, US officials told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Two of the aircraft were giant Antonov-124 Condor planes and a third was a passenger flight, one of the officials said.

The Russians have installed modular housing units — enough for “hundreds” of people — at the airport, as well as portable air traffic control equipment, the official noted.

“All of this seems to be suggesting that Russia is planning to do some sort of forward air-operating hub out of this airfield,” the official said.

Washington has expressed concern following reports suggesting Moscow may be boosting military support to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and had sent a military advance team to the war-torn country.


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