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Russia's Su-34 Jets Launch First Mission With Air-to-Air Missiles

© Sputnik / Dmitry Vinogradov / Go to the photo bankA Su-34 multifunctional strike bomber of the Russian Aerospace Force takes off from the Hemeimeem Air Base in the Syrian province of Latakia.
A Su-34 multifunctional strike bomber of the Russian Aerospace Force takes off from the Hemeimeem Air Base in the Syrian province of Latakia. - Sputnik International
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For the first time since the operation's beginning Russian Su-34 bomber jets have conducted sorties in Syria with air-to-air missiles on Monday, the Russian Aerospace Forces spokesman said.

"Today, for the first time Russian Su-34 fighter-bomber aircraft went on a mission carrying not only aerial bombs OFAB-500 and guided aerial bombs KAB-500, but with short and medium range air-to-air missiles," spokesman for the Russian Aerospace Forces, Col. Igor Klimov said, adding that the planes are equipped with missiles for protection.

Turkish army officers salute as Turkish honour guard carry the coffin of Russian pilot Lt. Col. Oleg Peshkov into a Turkish Air force transport plane at Hatay airport, Turkey, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2015 - Sputnik International
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According to him, the missiles "are equipped with homing devices and are capable of hitting aerial targets at a distance of 60 kilometers (37.2 miles)."

On November 24, a Russian Su-24, with its two pilots on board, crashed in Syria, downed by an air-to-air missile fired from the Turkish F-16 fighter in response to an alleged violation of Turkish airspace.Both the Russian General Staff and the Syrian Air Defense Command have confirmed that the Su-24 never crossed into Turkish airspace and was downed on Syrian territory.

Russia has been carrying out airstrikes in Syria against Daesh (ISIL) targets since September 30, at the request of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Syria has been in a state of civil war since 2011, with the country’s government fighting opposition forces and radical Islamist militant groups, including the al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State.

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