BEIRUT, LEBANON (3:10 P.M.) – The Russian military has deployed its Pantsir air defense system to the Qamishli Airport in northeastern Syria, the Russian television channel Star reported on Thursday, as quoted by Riafan.
“Russian troops deployed Pantsir air defense systems at the airport in the Syrian city of Qamishli to protect transport helicopters deployed to northern Syria from the Khmeimim base. This was reported on Thursday by the television channel “Star,” Riafan reported.
“According to the channel, the first group of Russian aerospace helicopters was relocated from the base in Khmeimim to the airport in Qamishli. It is also reported that this is the first group of combat helicopters of the Russian aerospace forces in northern Syria,” they continued.
Last week, it was reported that the Russian military was interested in leasing the Qamishli Airport from the Syrian government. This led many to speculate that Russia was in fact interested in having a third military base inside the Syrian Arab Republic.
“This is a historic moment – from this day on, our air group will constantly operate at the airport of Qamishli,” the channel reports.
The Russian Ministry of Defense has yet to comment on this latest claim; however, if true, the Russian military will now have a base near the U.S. forces inside Syria.