On 3 June 2020, Russia confirmed the delivery of more MiG-29 combat aircraft to Syria; just days after the US military had accused Moscow of using Syria to transfer warplanes to Libya. This is the “second batch” of advanced MiG-29 combat aircraft were handed over to the Syrian military “within the framework of defence cooperation”.
The Russian Embassy in Damascus said Syrian pilots have already started using the combat aircraft to conduct missions within Syria’s airspace since 1 June 20.
President Vladimir Putin last week ordered Russia’s foreign and defence ministries to hold talks with its close ally, Syria, to obtain more facilities and maritime access there, in addition to the two military bases Russia already has.
The delivery comes after the US military accused Moscow of deploying military aircraft to Libya to provide support for Russian mercenaries helping a local warlord, Khalifa Haftar, battle the North African country’s internationally recognised government.
US Africa Command said 14 MiG-29 combat aircraft and Su-24 fighter-bombers were flown to Libya via Syria, where they were repainted at Humeimim air base to disguise their identity.