Satellite Imagery Shows Russian Military Expansion in Syria

Source: AllSource Analysis | DigitalGlobe

Commercial satellite imagery captured by DigitalGlobe satellites and reviewed by AllSource Analysis officials shows Russia’s continued military buildup in Syria.

AllSource on Thursday afternoon released a series of images depicting Su-30SM and Su-24 fighter jets (partially covered in nets), Il-76 transport aircraft, Mi-24 Hind helicopters (also partially covered), T-90 tanks and BTR-80 armored personnel carriers at Bassel al-Assad International Airport.

The company also released a second set of images showing a newly paved area and logistics and storage site being established at the Istamo Weapon Storage Facility. The site also shows Mi-17 Hip helicopters and probable Ka-27/28 Helix helicopters, in addition to a fuel storage facility.

Check out some of the close-up images below:

Source: AllSource Analysis | DigitalGlobe

Source: AllSource Analysis | DigitalGlobe

Source: AllSource Analysis | DigitalGlobe

Source: AllSource Analysis | DigitalGlobe

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Brendan McGarry
Brendan McGarry is the managing editor of He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @Brendan_McGarry.
  • Lance

    When the Russian bring the T-80s in country then we know they be in for businesses.

    • John

      Yeah true they are not going to waste any of the t90s. They are to expensive so they are probably more inclined to use the soviet eratechfirst before they Putin tanks like the t90 and the t14armata

      • blight_asdfljk

        There’s always T-72, a reliable workhorse tank…

        That and they can just give them to the Syrians.

    • guest

      The difference between what the Russians and US have/are doing in Syria is that the Russians are aiding the legal government of a sovereign nation (as does the US in Israel, Qatar, etc.), whereas the US has been funding rebels intent on overthrowing that legal government.

    • paul

      True but why not bring in the T14 and test it out in battle.

      • blight_asdfljk

        ’cause it’s a mockup

  • Beef Stick

    More news for western mainstream media to ignore.

  • duker

    Funny no shadows on the run way pics ?
    And using a marked runway as a parking spot ?

    Theres a whiff of photoshop about this

  • John

    let them take down ISIS with iran and china backing. Saves us lives and money anyways

    • paul

      I agree but the Muslin-in-chief will allow them to immigrate to the USA

  • BLY

    US said. Supporting terrorist and separatist in any countries are illegal But US & his allies is currently backing Syrian rebel group fighting with their legal government

    While Russia backs separatist in Ukraine, US and NATO is saying illegal

    So US and NATO can do whatever they want to do while other is almost wrong

    • Taxpayer

      So, this type of obstructionist activities by U.S. and NATO must be what Pope was referring to as manipulation by strong forces within U.N. for their own purposes!

    • spartan

      US govt has been the biggest hypocrite and liar in the world for decades.

  • Tom

    That looks fishy, and like photoshop work.
    How we can see a perspective view of the planes in a top view of the landscape?
    In one picture with the parked jets and the big plane on the runway, we even can see two different perspectives.

    • Ryan

      Keep in mind that these shots could have been taken on separate days, at differing times of day. Even if they were on the same day, the movement of the satellite in orbit will change the viewing angle if shots were taken over an extended period of time.

      The image with the IL-76 seems to show an odd persepective, but the differing heights of the aircraft is the reason. The tail of the IL-76 is much taller than the SU-30 and SU-24 aircraft. This makes for a a pronounced visual difference. Shorter objects will appear flatter in comparison and will not cast shadows that are as easily visible as taller objects.

    • JimmyD

      Tom — Russia acknowledged that it was engaging and even noted the equipment deployment. So why the paranoia about pictures that represent what they’ve already confirmed? Better back off the chem-trails.

  • Roland

    What will you do when 2 or more evils fighting together? Answer: Nothing

  • Misanthrope2

    How mean of you Mr. Putin. You stood by while the US dissipated its military in wars of aggression and destabilization in the ME, and now you dare come to the aid of President Assad, the legitimate elected leader of Syria. That’s quite unamerican of you. The US took great risks in Bengazi shuttling mercenary thugs and armaments into Syria to take down Assad. The puppet masters mistakenly believed that the loyal citizens of Syria would cave in but quite the opposite is true. Although the US is responsible for the carnage in Syria, and the refugee situation, the loyal Syrians have valiantly held on. How dare you Mr. Putin enter the fray with your country’s military. You have taken advantage of US bumbling in its “Keystone Kops” approach to warfare. The handwriting was on the wall after the false flag 9-11 op. Our military was dispatched to take out Iraq, Afghanistan, Eqypt, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, etc. It was to be a piece of cake. Now after a decade of war, with hundreds of thousands of innocents murdered by the US, the chickens have come home to roost I reckon you knew what a failure the US military was in Vietnam, and you simply stood by biding your time while the US repeated the same disaster in the ME as it did in Vietnam.

    • blight_asdfljk

      “Although the US is responsible for the carnage in Syria”


    • spartan

      Excellent job mocking the propagandists.

    • SJE

      Russia was never going to let the US have an aggressive campaign in Syria, and risk losing its biggest base outside of Russia.

  • wtpworrier

    I think we already know this.

  • 45k20e4

    Not really concerned about all this. We should not have chosen sides in the first place. Let Russia deal with ISIS, and spend their money.

  • JimmyD

    Am I the only one who believes that the enemy of my enemy is my friend? I’m happy to see Russia fight ISIS via Syria. Reminds me of something called WW2………….

  • anomyous coward

    for all the people saying these looked photoshopped, have you ever done any research on what IMINT should look like? Why objects of interest look oblique and what time of day does to shadows.

    And incase you believe in chemtrails, here is a citation:…

  • TruthHurts

    Our president is so weak and pathetic. At least Russia has the balls to put boots on the ground. I don’t like Assad but really, who is going to replace him? Other terrorists? We have put no effort into defeating ISIS because we want ISIS to defeat Assad. This is an ignorant strategy. If the US was really serious about ridding this world of ISIS, it would have already been done. So, here we see again that Russia steps up while the US sits down. The US had the chance to end this and remain the primary influence in the Middle East. That’s over now. Now, the US is in a position of weakness and will be forced to either join Russia in this fight and/or negotiate with Assad. The last two administrations Bush and Obama are directly responsible for the destabilization of the Middle East. That’s reality and now Russia has come in to save the day. I hate to say this but good job Russia.

  • Lightingguy

    Well TruthHurts, the truth shall now hurt. There is no possibility the Russian Army is coming in with enough force structure to accomplish anything. They tried this in Afghanistan once with a HUGE military presence and got nowhere. A few T90’s on the ground ?, probably protection force to defend the air base and aircraft. The Russians,, as BTW don’t have enough force structure that could deploy to make a difference, unless they are willing to put on hold for a while, they’re escapades in the Ukraine.

  • bart ninja

    according to debkafile the Chinese aicraft carrier just arrived at Syria…

  • virgil cuttaway

    As the US downgrades military and spends more and more on social programs the Chinese and Russians are building up their military and exerting increasing world influence.

    All the while our President sits in Washington and dreams of different ways he can tax Americans and give more money away!

  • SJE

    Syria is Russia’s only strong ally in the middle east, and host of one its most important naval bases: the largest outside of Russia. Russia was never going to just walk away, and therefore had to back Assad. Now Russia is going to build up to protect its existing assets. The USA would do the same (see, e.g. Bahrain).

    Where Russia messed up is in not pressuring Assad early on, when there was a chance for some reform, in shielding Assad from any serious sanctions. I see no evidence that they are even forcing Assad to negotiate now. Now Syria is a disaster.

    Russia created the mess. Russia needs to help clean it up.

    • Observer

      For God’s sake, how exactly did Russians create the mess? Just to remind you, it was GOP’s old dream of “regime change” and the same pattern like in Lybia and Egypt. I supose they created the mess by not leting the US dethronise Assad the easy way. I’m sorry, but try to accept that Russia has it’s own interests and also has nukes. Instead of forming the alliance with Russians/inviting Russia to NATO as Putin and Medvedev proposed in 2009, thus creating the most powerfull alliance world has ever seen, the US were persistently creating an enemy and eventually pushed them towards the Chinese (Ukraine coup rings a bell?). So, as we speak, there’s Chinese aircraft carrier parked in Tartus naval base and Russian airbases spreading all over Syria. Way to go GOP’s sponsors & US military hardware industry, too bad for humanity.