Satellite images published by Israel-based Image Sat International (ISI) indicates that the Russian Armed Forces have deployed Sukhoi SU-25 attack aircraft to Syria after an eight-month hiatus.
Russia withdrew its SU-25 aircraft in July 2018, however images from ISI show SU-25 aircraft back at the Khmeimim (also Hmeimim) Air Base in Syria. The base is a major facility for Russian forces operating in the country and is described as “the strategic centre of Russian military intervention in the Syrian Civil War.”
In the report, ISI said, “Strengthening the order of forces of Russian air support can indicate a Russian intention to take over the northern Syrian region by force, along with the Syrian army, in case Turkey decides to realize the threat of seizing a security zone. The Russian move on the ground signals to Turkey that Russia is “serious” in its desire to leave the entire territory of Syria under Syrian sovereignty, even at the cost of a military confrontation with the Turkish army.”
The risk of a military confrontation between Russia and Turkey in Syria remains very low.