25 February, 2018
It is not clear if the Jets would be used for actual combat operations.
This is the first time the planes have been seen in Syria and it is unclear if Russian Federation plans to use them in attacks, as they are still going through developmental stages.
As many as 200 Russian mercenary fighters were killed in a series of USA air strikes in eastern Syria earlier this month after Washington-backed fighters stationed nearby came under attack by regime forces.
A failed cross-country skier from St. Petersburg, Russia, who once spent nine years in prison for robbery, Prigozhin rose from running a hot dog stand in the 1990s to owning an upscale restaurant frequented by Russian President Vladimir Putin and other members of the nation's political elite.
The incident marked the first time since the 2015 Russian intervention in the conflict that Russian citizens died in a U.S. military action.
USA officials estimate 500 pro-regime troops were involved in the attack on a compound where both U.S. troops and their allies in the Syrian Democratic Forces were stationed.More news: Kushner Pushing Back On Kelly's Effort To Revoke Interim Clearance
"Russia has deployed pretty much everything in its arsenal in Syria, whether they're prototypes or heavy strategic bombers in absurdly inefficient strike paths all around Western Europe and through the Mediterranean" to strike targets in Syria, said Bronk. "The mercenaries, employed by a company called Wagner, comprise ultranationalist Russians and military veterans, some of whom also fought in the Ukraine conflict, according to Russian news reports", the Post added.
With accounts from relatives and acquaintances of Russian fighters in Syria mounting, some open-source researchers and media reports have said that dozens or hundreds of Russians were killed.
In addition, it is reported that four Su-35 fighter aircraft, four Su-25 attack aircraft and an A-50U early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft also arrived in Syria. The video has allegedly been recorded near the Khmeimim Air Base.
Both the Kremlin and the Ministry of Defence declined to comment on whether the fifth-generation Russian fighter jets, which are still in combat testing phases, had been deployed.
Igor Eidman, a Russian commentator for Deutsche Welle, suggests that may be the case with the recent deaths of Russian mercenaries in Syria.
US-led forces wounded and killed dozens of Russian mercenaries and pro-Assad militiamen in early February, in a battle near the city of Deir Ezzor that saw United States drones and warplanes directly target Russians fighting on the side of the government for the first time in the war. Russian Federation and the USA are generally in communication over their positions in Syria in order to avoid clashes.