The Latest: Iran lawmaker confirms Russia using Iranian base
BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on the developments in the Syrian civil war, a day after Russia used a base in Iran to launch airstrikes in the Arab country (all times local):
A prominent Iranian lawmaker has confirmed that Russia is using Iran’s Shahid Nojeh Air Base for airstrikes in Syria.
Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the head of the parliament’s national security and foreign policy committee, said Wednesday that Russian fighter jets land in Shahid Nojeh Air Base only to refuel and this is under the permission of the country’s Supreme National Security Council.
Russia’s Defense Ministry announced on Tuesday that it launched the strikes from near the Iranian city of Hamedan and struck targets in three provinces in northern and eastern Syria. Shahid Nojeh Air Base is some 50 kilometers (31 miles) north of Hamedan.
The announcement from Russia marks the first significant stationing of its troops in Iran since World War II.
Syrian activists say a field hospital in the Aleppo countryside was heavily damaged when it was hit by an airstrike Tuesday night.
Osama Abu al-Ezz, a doctor in the city of Aleppo, says the hospital in the village of Daret Azzeh suffered a “direct hit.”
He says one person was wounded as fierce bombardment on the village forced staff and patients to evacuate the facility before the strike.
Abu al-Ezz says staff feared the hospital would be targeted. It is located in an opposition-held part of contested Aleppo province.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group, confirms the strike.
The advocacy group Human Rights Watch accused Russia and the Syrian government last week of attacking hospitals in opposition areas, which if deliberate can amount to a war crime
The Russian foreign minister is rejecting allegations that Russia’s use of Iranian military bases for airstrikes in Syria violates any UN sanctions on Iran.
Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday rejected allegations by U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner, who the day before said Russia’s operation out of Iran could violate the U.N. resolution that prohibits the supply, sale and transfer of combat aircraft to Iran unless approved by the Security Council.
Lavrov says “there has been no supply, sale or transfer of combat jets to Iran” and insisted that the Russian Air Force’s presence in Iran is only about using its facilities.
The minister also called on the U.S. not to “nitpick about what is happening in terms of the remaining restrictions on trade and ties with Iran.”
The Russian Defense Ministry says its warplanes have launched a new wave of airstrikes on Islamic State fighters in Syria.
The ministry says its jets took off earlier in the day on Wednesday from a base southwest of the Iranian capital, Tehran, to strike targets in the east of Syria. It says they destroyed two command posts and two training camps.
Iran on Tuesday allowed Russian warplanes to take off from its territory to bomb targets in Syria, for the first time since Russia launched its operation in the war-torn Arab nation last year.
Syria’s state-run news agency says seven civilians have been killed and nine wounded by rocket rounds fired by armed groups on a government-controlled district of the city of Aleppo.
SANA says the rockets struck the Salaheddine residential district in the northern city on Wednesday.
The city has been divided into a rebel-held eastern part and a government-controlled western part since 2012, and is now the focal point of the civil war.
On Tuesday, nearly 20 civilians were reported killed in airstrikes in eastern districts.
This update has been corrected to say 20 civilians were reported killed on Tuesday, not Friday.
The speaker of Iran’s parliament is stressing that Russia does not have a permanent military base within the Islamic Republic, a day after Moscow announced launching airstrikes on Syria from Iran.
The comments by Ali Larijani, reported on Wednesday by the state-run IRNA news agency, seem geared at easing domestic concerns over the strikes. Iran’s constitution, ratified after its 1979 Islamic Revolution, bars foreign militaries from having bases within the country.
Larijani did not directly discuss the strikes in his comments.
Russia’s Defense Ministry announced on Tuesday that it launched the strikes from near the Iranian city of Hamedan and struck targets in three provinces in northern and eastern Syria.
The announcement from Russia marks the first significant stationing of its troops there since World War II.
This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.