Four Russian attack helicopters have been spotted on the tarmac of a Syrian airport that the Pentagon says is being converted into a Russian forward operating base.
The arrival of the helicopter gunships follows the shipment of sophisticated battle tanks, and shows the Russian build-up in Syria escalating even after repeated complaints from the Obama administration.
A U.S. official who had been briefed on the latest intelligence over Syria early Wednesday told Fox News that two Russian Mi-24 "Hind" and two Mi-17 "Hip" gunships have been seen in the latest satellite imagery over Bassel al-Assad International Airport, in Latakia province along Syria's Mediterranean coast.
Right now, there is no sign the Russian gunships have taken their first flights over Syria, according to the official. But intelligence analysts believe the helicopters could be airborne soon as maintenance crews prepare them for flight after arriving from Russia.