A Su-35 fighter of the Russian Aerospace Forces. © Denis Sinyakov / Reuters
Russian Su-34 bombers, additionally equipped with air-to-air missiles, have set out on their first mission in Syria, said Igor Klimov, spokesman for the Russian Air Force.
“Today, Russian Su-34 fighter-bombers have made their first sortie equipped not only with high explosive aviation bombs and hollow charge bombs, but also with short- and medium-range air-to-air missiles,” Klimov said.
“The planes are equipped with missiles for defensive purposes,” he added.
The missiles have target-seeking devices and are “capable of hitting air targets within a 60km radius,” he said.
Turkish F-16s shot down a Russian Su-24 bomber operating in Syria on November 24, with Ankara claiming that the warplane had violated Turkish airspace. Moscow has rejected the claims, saying that according to its military intelligence the Su-24 never left Syrian airspace.
On Monday, Turkey’s prime minister said that Ankara will not apologize for the incident.