Russia’s use of the air base in Iran for carrying out air strikes on rebel Islamist groups in Syria is “unfortunate, but not surprising”, said this Tuesday by the US State Department, adding that Washington still analyzing the dimensions of Russian-Iranian cooperation and legitimacy of Russia using Iranian airspace.
Russian bombers deployed in Iran on Tuesday pounded positions of the militants in Syria, said the Russian Defense Ministry after Russia deploy its Iranian fighter jets at air base due to expanding its engagement in Syria. The Ministry of the Defense announced that the attacks were launched by the Air Force Base in Hamadan, and conducted strategic bombers “Tupolev-22M3” accompanied with hunt bombers “Sukhoi-34”.
Russian media reported that the bombers “Tupolev-22M3” which have already brought numerous attacks on militants in Syria from bases in the south of Russia, are too large to be accommodated in the Russian air base in Syria. Despite Iranian Hamadan base is located in the northwest of Iran and Russian bombers have to fly over Iraq to carry out bombings in Syria.
A spokesman for the US State Department, Mark Toner, said Russia’s use of Iranian facilities will not necessarily prevent the US to reach an agreement with Moscow on cooperation the fight against the Islamic state in Syria, after Tuesday Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced that the two countries are close to reaching agreement to joint operations in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo while supporting different sides in the Syrian conflict.
“But we still have not come to that”, said Toner, adding that Russia allegedly continued attacks on Sunni armed opposition in Syria, which the US call “Moderate”, reports Reuters.
Toner added that the US examines the question whether Russia using Iran’s airspace to attack militants in Syria constitutes a breach of Resolution 2231Security Council of the UN.
“The shortest answer to your question is – we are studying it”, said a spokesman for US diplomacy at the regular press briefing when asked whether Washington considers the use of Russian bombers based in Iran is a violation of resolution 2231 of the Security Council, reports news agency TASS.
According to Toner, “it is likely to have a violation of Resolution 2231, which prohibits the delivery, sale or transfer of military fighter appliances Iran without approval of the Council of Security on UN”, “I know that our lawyers are trying at this stage to gather as much detail as possible”, said the spokesman of the State Department.
Toner could not say what might be the implication if it appears that Moscow had violated the provisions of Resolution 2231 of the Security Council of the UN, but finds one of the possible solutions would be “talks about the complex situation at the level of the Security Council”.
Toner informed that US Secretary of State John Kerry in a phone conversation with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov had expressed concern about Russia’s use of base of Iran for firing targets in Syria, but did not provide details, notes agency RIA.
Another US official for Reuters said that Russia has warned the international coalition led by the US to fight the Islamic State that will take off from Iran.
“Russia has warned the coalition”, he told Reuters, coalition spokesman Chris Garver at a press conference broadcast by video link.
“They tell us that will fly through the zone under the control of the coalition… But it had no impact on operations at the same time and performed the coalition, neither in Iraq or in Syria:, said the spokesman.
It is thought that this is the first time Russia to carry out strikes on targets in Syria from the Iranian territory since last September respond to the request of his Middle East ally Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.