DAMASCUS, SYRIA (06:15) – Russian daily newspaper Vedomosti reports that the Russian Federation has approved the expansion of permanent Russian military bases in the Syrian Arab Republic, which would see a significant boost of Russian military personnel at least two locations in the country.
The Russian air force base in Khmeimim, in the north-eastern Latakia province of Syria, has reportedly been scheduled by the Russian Federation’s presidency to house a mixed aviation regiment, consisting of helicopter and fighter-bomber squadrons with total of up to 30 aircraft. Aside from this already extensive amount of military hardware, the Khmeimim base is set to also include communication equipment, air defence networks, armed security and a contingent of unmanned aerial vehicles. There are even plans for a military police unit base from which Russian armed forces can perform their duties in de de-escalation zones, as agreed in the Astana talks.
At the same time, the Russian naval base in Tartus is set for an expansion as well, planning an impressive total of up to 4,000 Russian servicemen permanently stationed there. This would boost the Tartus base to a total size similar to Russian bases in other nations allied to Russia, notably those in Armenia, Tajikistan and the de facto independent republic of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.