Russian athletes visit air base in Syria used to strike IS

BY foxsports • August 29, 2016

MOSCOW (AP) Russian athletes including the women's pole vault world record holder, Yelena Isinbayeva, have visited an air base in Syria that Russia uses to target Islamic State fighters.

Isinbayeva, who retired from competition this month, led a group of Russian athletes to the Hemeimeem base in the government-controlled part of Syria.

Russian television on Monday showed footage of Isinbayeva, dressed in a white T-shirt, leading a morning workout for several dozen Russian troops. Isinbayeva, who recently was elected as an athletes' representative on the International Olympic Committee, said she was proud to be at the base to boost the troops' morale.

Russia, a staunch ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad, has been bombing IS militants and supporting Assad's offensive for nearly a year now.

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