Pictures: Major Syrian Air Force base undergoes expansion
A major Syrian Air Force base located in central Syria is undergoing expansion according to satellite pictures released over social media by an open-source military conflict observer.
According to pictures tweeted by one well-known satellite image provider and analyst Observer IL, the Tiyas Airbase (also often called the T-4 or Teefor Airbase) in eastern Homs province is having its main runway expanded from 3,200 meters to 3,750 meters whilst a new second runway is also being prepared to a length of 3,200 meters.
Additional time-lapse images provided by Observer IL show that the expansion operation at the Tiyas Airbase began at some point since June 2019.
For the Syrian Air Force, the Tiyas Airbase is already one of its most important installations.
Historically it was a major interceptor base for Syria’s MiG-25s; however, since the current conflict began (and the MiG-25 apparently removed from service), the installation houses both Russian and Syrian close air support aircraft (such as Su-25s and Mi-24s) which are often called upon to assist government troops fighting ISIS remnants in the surrounding countryside.
There is also an Iranian-operated section of the base from which the Iranian Air Force conducts many of its Iran-to-Syria heavy airlift operations and the IRGC is said to deploy combat and reconnaissance drones as well as maybe (unconfirmed) air defense units.
It is worth noting that the Tiyas Airbase has on a number of occasions since at least 2016 been attacked by the Israeli Air Force, ostensibly because of the presence of strategic Iranian weapons systems which Israel claims threatens its national security.
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