(AP) — The Russian military says it has deployed three nuclear-capable long-range bombers to its base in Syria. The move could strengthen Moscow’s military foothold in the Mediterranean region.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said Tuesday that three Tu-22M3 bombers had arrived at the Hemeimeem air base, the main hub for Moscow’s operations in Syria. The ministry said bomber crews would fly a series of training missions over the Mediterranean.
The Tu-22M3 is a supersonic twin-engine long-range bomber capable of carrying nuclear weapons. The bombers’ deployment marks the first time since Cold War times that Moscow has stationed heavy bombers in the region. Past Russian bombing missions to strike militants in Syria were conducted from bases in Russia.