A Russian military source has said strategic crews at the Engels bomber operations airbase in Western Russia are readying for strikes on Aleppo, Syria.
Engels airbase, also known as Engels-2, is Russia’s only operating base for the Tu-160 long-range strategic bomber. According to the source, “engineering staff are preparing aircraft and cruise missiles for combat use.”
The Soviet-era Tu-160 and Tu-95 long-range bombers first targeted terrorist positions in Syria last year, and will reportedly join the Russian navy’s aircraft carrier-led strike group in it’s expected showdown with militants in Aleppo.
The strategic bombers are expected to fly from the Engels airbase and strike priority targets such as command centers, ammunition depots and bomb factories used by Western-backed militants including groups allied to the Al-Qaeda wing in Syria, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (Jabhat al-Nusra).