Russian warplanes are taking off from their base in Syria's coastal province of Latakia as Moscow continues pressing its air blitz days before scheduled peace talks.

A pair of Su-25 jets flew past, returning from a mission shortly after sunrise on Wednesday, and air force crews readied combat jets for more missions.

Two heavy transport plans were parked near the main terminal as soldiers toting assault rifles stood guard.

Since Russia launched its air campaign in Syria on Sept. 30, its warplanes have flown nearly 6,000 missions. The number is impressive for a relatively compact force comprising just a few dozen warplanes.

The Russian military brought a group of Moscow-based reporters to the base on Wednesday to see the operations.