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Russia And Syria Agreed To Expand Hmeimim Air Base

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Russia And Syria Agreed To Expand Hmeimim Air Base

An Su-24 taking off from Hmeimim air base in 2015. IMAGE: Russian Ministry of Defense

Syria had agreed to transfer additional land and water area to expand Russia’s Khmeimim Air Base, the Russian news agency Interfax reported.

The new agreement was published on the official Russian portal of legal information on August 19. The protocol was signed on July 21 in Damascus and on July 30 in Moscow.

“The Syrian Arab Republic agrees to the transfer to the Russian Federation a land plot and water area in the province of Lattakia in order to create and locate a medical health and rehabilitation center for the Russian aviation group,” the agreement reads.

The new areas, which cover ​​8 hectares and include several buildings, will be used to expand Hmeimim Air Base for the entire duration of the agreement on the deployment of the Russian air group in Syria.

Last May, President Vladimir Putin has ordered the defense and foreign ministries to hold talks with Syria to get more facilities and maritime access in Syria.

Besides Hmeimim Air Base, Russia maintains a Naval Base in the port of Tartus city. Syria hosts other smaller Russian fortified positions, including an air-defense facility in western Hama, where an S-400 system is deployed.

The expansion of Hmeimim Air Base will reinforce Russian military presence in Syria on the long term. Russia’s support has allowed Syrian government forces to re-impose control of vast parts of the country since 2015.

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