DAMASCUS – A US Boeing P-8A Poseidon conducted a “reconnaissance mission” near the coast of Syria, where a Russian military base is located, the flight monitoring data website PlaneRadar reported.
According to the website, the patrol aircraft took off from NATO’s Sigonella Air Base located on Italy’s island of Sicily. It then headed to Syria, where it flew near the Khmeimim Air Base in Lattakia for more than half an hour. The base was built in 2015 when Russia began its military campaign against terrorist groups such as Daesh (ISIL or ISIS) and the Al-Nusra Front at the request of Syria’s authorities.
The base is the most heavily defended Russian military facility abroad. It has a contingent of fighter aircraft as well as S-400 air defense systems. The development comes after a similar reconnaissance flight was conducted near the base at the end of April and another one near Russia’s borders with the Baltic States.
The Deep State is determined to force a strong Russian reaction to these provocations, but the Russian military’s reactions have been quite restrained thus far since Russia is not interested in conflicts. Russian patience, however, is not an infinite resource to be exploited and one day it may run out.
These spy missions have become very common in the last coups of years, with thousands reported in both 2018 and 2019. In 2018 alone, the Russian Ministry of Defense reported more than 3000 NATO spy aircraft flights near Russia’s borders. The trend continued unabated since then.
The Deep State spying activities aren’t only limited to Russia’s western borders, where an ISR drone was caught spying over the Baltic Sea in January, but also include flights near Russian military facilities in Syria. Both the naval base at Tartus and the Khmeimim airbase have been the target of these spy missions.