A RUSSIAN fighter jet appeared near the Qamishli airport in Syria near US forces on the Turkish border.
A possible larger deployment could loom on the horizon as Moscow hopes to increase its presence in northeastern Syria.
An undated photo apparently shows a Russian Aerospace Forces Su-35S at Qamishli Airport. The photo was posted on Twitter with geolocation.
The photo also shows an R-77 at medium range and an R-73 at close range. The Su-35S has been a regular flanker in Syria since its launch by Mscow in September 2015.
According to an anonymous source speaking to Al Mayadeen, the flankers will remain at the airport “indefinitely”.
“The Qamishli air base is quietly the most important military installation in Syria”, tweeted Nicholas Heras, Senior Analyst and Head of the State Resilience and Fragility Program.
The Qamishli base has been used regularly by Russia in the past with reports of rotorcraft operating from the air base.
I1-76 transport planes also frequent the air base.
It is not clear whether Russia is using the base for resupply or rearmament or if more extensive operations are underway at this time.
Other reports show an increase in the activities of Russian aerospace forces near the Turkish border, including airstrikes.
However, there is a US military presence in northeastern Syria, with the Pentagon confirming that there are around 900 Americans in several Syrian outposts.
US fighter jets are available to respond to threats against US interests in the country.
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