Russia deploys Sukhoi fighters in Central Asian military base amid Afghan crisis

Russia has deployed Sukhoi fighter jets in one its military bases in Central Asia for mock CSTO drills signalling to thwart any spillover of terrorism, radicalism and extremism from Afghanistan.

A wing of Su-25 ground attack aircraft from Russia’s Kant integrated airbase in Kyrgyzstan will participate in the joint drills of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) member states in Tajikistan, the press office of Russia’s Central Military District reported on Tuesday.

The crews of the Russian ground support aircraft will practice eliminating a notional enemy targets, the press office informed.

“Four Su-25 attack aircraft flew from their home aerodrome and landed at the Gissar airfield near Dushanbe. During the active phase of the Interaction 2021 joint drills of the CSTO Collective Operational Response Forces, the attack aircraft crews will practice searching for and eliminating a notional enemy’s facilities. They will also provide fire support from the air for motorized infantry and armored units in the course of accomplishing combat training assignments on mountainous and desert terrain,” the press office said in a statement.

The CSTO member states will hold joint drills dubbed Interaction, Search and Echelon on the territory of Tajikistan near the border with Afghanistan in October that will involve over 2,700 troops. The exercise Echelon scheduled for October 18-23 will be conducted in Tajikistan for the first time.

Russia’s Kant integrated airbase in Kyrgyzstan is part of the CSTO Collective Operational Response Forces and provides airspace security for the Moscow-led bloc. The airbase operates Su-25 ground attack aircraft and Mi-8 helicopters.

Russia has reactivated CSTO even before Taliban stormed to power on August 15 and has conducted several joint and individual drills with its Central Asian allies located in close proximity with Afghanistan.

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