WW4/Middle East Files: Russian Air Force’s Tu-160, Tu-95 strategic bombers make historic combat debuts in Syrian theater as Putin challenges West with image of post-Soviet Russia as revived superpower; 5 Blackjacks, 6 Bears, 14 Tu-22M3s carry out third day of missile strikes against ISIS strongholds in N. Syria, 12 cruise missiles hit Sunni militants’ fuel depots, oil refineries, ammo depot, explosives factory, previous 2 days of bombing destroyed 500 ISIS fuel trucks; meanwhile, Royal Air Force scrambled out of Lossiemouth to intercept 2 Blackjacks over Atlantic Ocean, MoD: “At no time did the Russian military aircraft cross into UK sovereign airspace”; post-Soviet Russia proves ability to simultaneously deploy at least 7 Tu-160s in 2 theaters, follows DM Shoigu’s April 2015 order to resume production of world’s largest combat aircraft, 50 Tu-160Ms to feature improved electronics, avionics, hypersonic Kh-90 missiles; Russia’s new stealth PAK-DA bomber also slated for maiden flight in 2019; Tu-16 Badgers carpet bombed Mujahideen during Soviet-Afghan War, Tu-22M introduced to Afghan air war in 1987, Tu-22M3 conducted bombing raids over Chechnya in 1995, Tu-22MR shot down by Georgian air defenses during Aug. 2008 war

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