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Syria gave more land and water area to Russia for a larger military base

DAMASCUS, (BM) – Russia and Syria have agreed to transfer additional land and water area to expand the Khmeimim airbase, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing Russian news agency Interfax.

Read more: BulgarianMilitary.com 24/7 – War in Syria: Who controls what and what happens

The corresponding protocol to the agreement on the deployment of the Russian air group in Syria was published on Wednesday on the official portal of legal information.

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

It notes that Syria is transferring to the Russian side for temporary free use for the entire duration of the agreement a land plot with an area of ​​8 hectares with buildings located on it and a water area of ​​the same area.

The protocol was signed on July 21 in Damascus and on July 30 in Moscow.

As BulgarianMilitary.com reported, in May, Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed to hold negotiations with Syria on the transfer of additional real estate and water area to the military under the agreement on the deployment of the Russian aviation group.

Russia has a Khmeimim airbase in Syria and a naval base in the port of Tartus.

It was reported that the air defense of the Russian bases in Khmeimim and Tartus is provided by the Pantsir-S and Tor-M2 short-range complexes, as well as the long-range Triumph S-400 (the Almaz-Antey concern).

The agreement between the Russian Federation and Syria on the deployment of the Russian aviation group was signed in Damascus on August 26, 2015. According to the document, Russia, at the request of Syria, is deploying an air group on its territory. For this, Syria provided the Khmeimim airfield, as well as the necessary territory.

The Russian military operation in Syria has been conducted since September 30, 2015. Aviation of the Russian Aerospace Forces supports ground operations of the Syrian army.

It was officially reported that special operations forces of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, units of the military police, marines, and the Center for the Reconciliation of Warring Parties are operating in Syria.

How the Kmeimim and Tartus military bases have changed under Russian control?

In September 2019, the RF Ministry of Defense reported that there are about 30 aircraft and helicopters at the Khmeimim airbase, in particular, Su-35 fighters, Su-34 and Su-24 bomber, Mi-35 and Mi-8AMTSh helicopters.

In September 2019, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation reported that Khmeimim is already capable of receiving all types of aircraft, including missile carriers. The military then reported that the construction of a second runway was underway, and structures were erected at the base to protect aircraft from drones.

In January 2017, an informed source told Interfax that a new air traffic control center was built at Khmeimim, equipped with modern technical controls and radio equipment.

In 2017, Moscow and Damascus signed an agreement to place a logistics center for the Russian Navy in Tartus for 49 years. Last September, the Russian military announced that a ship repair center had been set up at the Russian Navy base in the Syrian port of Tartus.

In January 2017, a source told Interfax that the Russian military was upgrading the Russian naval base in Syrian Tartus to a level that would allow cruisers to enter there. To this end, work was carried out to deepen and widen the fairway in the port of Tartus.

According to the Russian-Syrian agreement on the logistics center in Tartous, up to 11 ships can be deployed there, including ships with a nuclear power plant.

A Russian squadron operates in the Mediterranean on a permanent basis. It includes about 10 warships and support vessels.

Earlier, Russian ships and submarines launched strikes from the Mediterranean Sea with Kalibr cruise missiles against militants in Syria.

War in Syria

In February, Turkey lost at least 62 troops killed in Syria, nearly 100 soldiers were wounded, dozens of Turkish armored vehicles were destroyed and more than ten drones, including drone, were shot down. Washington has repeatedly accused Moscow of involvement in the deaths of Turkish soldiers, Russia rejects these allegations.

In early March, the presidents of Russia and Turkey, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, concluded an agreement according to which a ceasefire came into force in the Idlib de-escalation zone.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad later said that if the US and Turkish military did not leave the country, Damascus would be able to use force.

The reason for the Russian-Turkish negotiations was a sharp aggravation of the situation in Idlib, where in January a large-scale offensive by the Syrian army against the positions of the armed opposition and terrorists began.

Government forces recaptured nearly half of the Idlib de-escalation zone and left behind a number of Turkish observation posts. After that, Ankara sharply increased its military contingent in the region and launched the operation “Spring Shield” to push the Syrian troops. Turkey is also supported by militants loyal to it.

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