InformNapalm OSINT volunteer group writes, referring to Kuwaiti media as well as Russian sources, Censor.NET reports.
Based on the information, the aircraft force in Syria can be expanded up to 100 warplanes. Shayrat airbase (coordinates 34.494028, 36.904133) has a 3 km long main runway allowing any type of planes, an auxiliary runway which is almost ready, and 45 fortified hangars. The sources in the Russian military authorities say Shayrat airbase is needed for launching operations in the south and east of Syria. In particular, it is required for an advance in Palmyra area and farther eastward - on Deir ez-Zor, since Hmeimim airbase (Latakia province) is located too far away, which makes usage of assault aviation and helicopters impossible. The Russian Air Force is already using Shayrat airfield. Israeli sources also confirm Russia's military are present at Shayrat airbase, with transport aviation (An-124 aircraft) being quite active.
A map of the area near Shayrat airbase was demonstrated in a video presentation by Russia's MoD on Nov. 17, 2015. This map shows the positions of Russia's 5th Howitzer Battery of the 120th Guards Artillery Brigade deployed in that region on Nov. 6. One can also see that as of 2 p.m. on Nov. 6, four assault Mi-24 and one transport Mi-8 helicopters were at Shayrat airfield.
The Russian side still does not officially admit using its ground forces in Syria. According to the Kremlin, all the proofs presented in media are provocative fakes.
"In this regard, we would like to refer to a publication released by our community in late October, 2015. The article reveals the movement of military columns in the vicinity of Al-Shelfatiyeh (Latakia province) on Oct. 28, 2015. They included various unmarked military equipment: APCs, command vehicles, artillery and trucks which were identified as the Russian ground troops. As supposed, the hardware was in possession of the 120th Artillery Brigade of the 41st Army (Central Military District, Yurga, Kemerovo region, Russia). A little bit later, another Russian column was recorded, being a part of the 74th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade from the same Yurga (read the article here)," the group notes.
All this makes Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu's statement about the start of the ground anti-terrorist operation of the united forces of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and other countries in the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic even more interesting. Since Russia and coalition members pursue different goals in Syria, new incidents are quite possible, involving Russia's military and Syria's insurgents fighting against Assad's tyranny.