Using Iran’s Hamadan airdrome for air strikes against terrorists in Syria was a reasonable decision that proved very effective and at the same time put to test the skills of Russian air pilots, a former commander of Russia’s long-range aviation, Lieutenant-General Mikhail Oparin, has told TASS.

 

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According to the Defense Ministry’s news release, Russian planes on Tuesday for the first time used an airdrome in Iran to attack terrorist targets in Syria. Long-range bombers Tupolev-22M3 and Sukhoi-34 planes participated in the attack.

 

“It was an excellent occasion to see how well prepared our long-range aviation pilots are for coping with unexpected combat tasks. I believe that the decision (to use Hamada – TASS) was right and reasonable,” Oparin said.

 

He recalled that Hamadan, located in the northwest of Iran, was more convenient than Russia’s Mozdok air base, from where Tupolev-22M3 bombers had flown to Syria before. Also, in terms of proximity it is better than Hmeymim, Oparin added.

 

At the same time Oparin pointed out that Hamadan was a high altitude air base. High air temperatures and the maximum bomb load were a serious test for the air crews.

 

“Only top class pilots possessing the required skills are capable of coping with such tasks. Our long-range pilots have precisely this type of training. I was very pleased to see what they’ve accomplished. They’ve shown what they can do,” he said.

 

Long-range bombers Tupolev-22M3 have been used several times to attack terrorist targets over the past few weeks. This month they carried out three raids – on August 8, 11 and 14.