Shayrat Airbase

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Shayrat Airbase

قاعدة الشعيرات الجوية

Qaeidat al-Shshaeirat al-Jawwia
Summary
Airport typeMilitary
OwnerSyrian Armed Forces
OperatorSyrian Arab Air Force

Russian Armed Forces

Iranian Armed Forces

Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps
LocationShayrat, Homs Governorate
In usePresent
Coordinates34°29′24″N 36°54′32″E / 34.49000°N 36.90889°E / 34.49000; 36.90889Coordinates: 34°29′24″N 36°54′32″E / 34.49000°N 36.90889°E / 34.49000; 36.90889
Map
Shayrat Air Base is located in Syria
Shayrat Air Base
Shayrat Air Base
Location in Syria
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
11/29 9,850 3,002.28 Surface paved, not lighted
15/33 10,498.69 3,200 Asphalt

Shayrat Airbase (FAA LID: OS65) is home to the Syrian Air Force 50th Air Brigade located in Homs. It has two runways and around 40 hardened aircraft shelters.

Squadrons[edit]

The brigade consists of three fighter squadrons:

  • 675th Fighter Squadron (MIG-23s)
  • 677th Fighter Squadron (SU-22s)
  • 685th Fighter Squadron (SU-22s)[1]

According to the Trump administration, the base is also believed to contain a chemical weapons storage depot.[2]

History[edit]

The airbase was originally constructed in the 1960s.[3]

The Russian Air Force also uses the facility. In 2015, Russia expanded the runways in order to accommodate Russian aircraft.[4] In February 2016, the Russian military doubled the amount of attack helicopters stationed at Shayrat. Jane's reports that there were "four Russian Mi-35 helicopters, four Mi-24s, and one Mi-8/17."[5] This deployment was in addition to a previous deployment of four Mi-24s in November 2015. In addition to Air Force assets, "Russia's 120th Artillery Brigade with six 152 mm 2A65 Msta-B towed howitzers had taken up position at a Syrian Arab Army (SAA) base just to the south of the airbase."[5]

According to Defense & Foreign Affairs Strategic Policy, the Russian Air Force "use[d] the al-Shayrat Air Base as a transit hub and an entry point for military supplies for the Syrian military, thus reducing the congestion in Khmeimim," as well as operating forward refueling and rearming services for Russian aircraft supporting the Syrian Army. The journal also reported that the Iranian Air Force also extensively utilize the facilities.[6]

2017 U.S. Navy missile strike[edit]

USS Ross firing a Tomahawk missile towards the base, April 2017

On 6 April 2017, on the orders from U.S. President Donald Trump, USS Ross and USS Porter (both based in the Mediterranean) fired 60 Tomahawk missiles at Shayrat airfield, with 59 reaching the base, according to the CBS Evening News, in response to a suspected chemical attack in the town of Khan Shaykhun in the Idlib Province. The attack on Khan Sheikhoun is believed to have been launched from Shayrat.[7][8][9] The United States had reportedly notified Russia, Syria's biggest ally, prior to the strike.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Scramble". www.scramble.nl. Retrieved 2017-04-07.
  2. ^ Bonds, Timothy; Larson, Eric; Eaton, Derek; Darilek, Richard (2014). Strategy-Policy Mismatch: How the U.S. Army Can Help Close Gaps in Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction. http://www.dtic.mil/docs/citations/ADA609703: RAND Arroyo Center. p. 110. ISBN 978-0-8330-8631-0.
  3. ^ "Syrian villagers near U.S. missile strike know the sound of battle – but never as horrific as this". 7 April 2017 – via LA Times.
  4. ^ "Russia Expanding Second Syrian Air Base Near IS-Held Areas". RadioFreeEurope. 4 December 2015. Retrieved 7 April 2017.
  5. ^ a b Ripley, Tim (24 February 2016). "Russia increases support for syrian offensive against islamic state". Jane's Defence Weekly. Retrieved 7 April 2017.
  6. ^ Bodansky, Yossef (2016). "Russia's war against DI'ISH". Defense & Foreign Affairs Strategic Policy. 44 (1): 6–16.
  7. ^ "Syria war: US launches missile strikes in response to chemical 'attack'". BBC News. 2017-04-07. Retrieved 2017-04-07.
  8. ^ Phipps, Claire (2017-04-06). "Donald Trump launches 60 missiles in US strike after Syria chemical attack – live". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-04-07.
  9. ^ Barbara Starr and Jeremy Diamond. "Trump launches military strike against Syria". CNN. Retrieved 2017-04-07.
  10. ^ Scherer, Michael (6 April 2017). "The Trump Administration Warned Russia About the U.S. Missile Attack on Syria". Time Magazine. Retrieved 7 April 2017.