Russian Air Force Ilyushin Il-20
Russian Air Force Ilyushin Il-20Creative Commons

Russia reportedly has completely taken over the airspace in Syria and Iraq which means that without its knowing neither US nor Israel can carry out any missions in the region.

Most recently, Baghdad agreed to allow Russia to use its airbase in Al Taqaddum and with this the Putin forces wrested major control of airspace in the Middle East as Moscow already has an operations command centre set up in Latakia in Syria.

While the Iraqi base is located some 74 km from Baghdad, the Syria command centre is some 288 km from the Israeli border.  In short, Russia can deploy its spy planes in both the region and gather any intelligence flow from Damascus, Baghdad and Tel Aviv.

According to DEBKfile, Russia has deployed two of its two super-surveillance planes - Ilyushin-20 (IL-20 Coot) in the region. These top-line intelligence-gathering aircraft can stay airborne for 12 hours and can collect a wide range of data covering long distances in almost any weather condition.

The report noted that, once airborne, these spy planes can gather information not just from Golan Heights but can also monitor electronic activity and conversations in Jerusalem or even Tel Aviv. 

A Russian naval surveillance ship, Vasily Tatishchevan, was also reportedly in the eastern Mediterranean region. Its main objective is to monitor airwaves not only in Syria but all the neighbouring countries. 

To further restrain both US and Israel, Russia also has deployed the Krasukha-4, an advanced electronic warfare system used to jam radar and aircraft, according to Sputnik News.

According to Foreign Policy, Moscow is carrying out a  "hybrid warfare" tactics in Syria where it is transferring advanced electronic warfare tools to make strategic gains with a minimal use of military force.

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