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Russia claims it can now operate nuclear capable bombers from Syrian air base

Russia said on Tuesday that it had the ability for the first time to operate long-range strategic nuclear-capable bombers from its airbase in Syria, expanding its capabilities and allowing such planes to train in new regions. 

Russia has a Hmeymim base on Syria’s Mediterranean coast. It has launched airstrikes in the past in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.  

The Defence Ministry of Russia said in a statement that three Tupolev Tu-22M3 long-range bombers had flown to Hmeymim. It also said that runways at the base had been made longer and one of them upgraded allowing Russia to operate aircraft of all types from the base.  

The three newly arrived bombers would hold training exercises in new geographical areas over the Mediterranean Sea, the defence ministry said, before returning to their permanent airfields in Russia. 

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