Russia mulling lease of Qamishli Airport to challenge US influence in eastern Syria: report
…from Al-Masdar, Lebanon
[ Editor’s Note: Syria needs this base as it is its key air facility in NE Syria. Sure, bombing strikes can be run from bases farther away, but being able to deploy helicopter sorties quickly, medical evacuations, etc., the closer you are to the need the better.
The mention below of Al-Masdar of getting Russia defensive missiles closer to the US bases in the Persian Gulf has some merit, but rest assured that Moscow has its southern flank well covered to protect the homeland.
That said, an S-400 radar at Qamishli Airport would see far to the east and be able to monitor all US air activity in Iraq. The 49 year lease term sounds odd, as the ones Russia got on Syria’s Mediterranean coast were for 50 years.
Wanting complete control of the base via a lease is an indication of plans for permanent upgrading and needing 100% security for it with only your own people coming and going, other than guests.
Geopolitically it would be another rare Russia overseas base, making it three in Syria, more indications that it will be staying a long time in Syria if needed…Jim W. Dean ]
– First published … November 04, 2019 –
BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:50 A.M.) – The Russian military is currently negotiating the lease of the Qamishli Airport in northeastern Syria, the Russian aviation publication Avia.Pro reported, citing the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).
According to the publication, the Russian military is interested in leasing the Qamishli Airport for a duration of 49 years.
“The reason for the need to rent another military airfield in Syria for almost half a century is unknown, especially since the Al-Qamishli airfield is located only 500km from the Russian Hmeimim Airbase; however, experts believe that it will be a kind of control center for American missiles stationed in the Middle East,” the publication said.
“If we allow the deployment of Russian air defense and missile defense systems in the Al-Qamishli area, then American missiles, if the latter are deployed in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, etc., will be intercepted long before they are launched towards Russia ” a specialist told Avia.Pro.
Moscow has not yet made any official statements on this subject. The Qamishli Airport is currently under the control of the Syrian state; it was previously isolated in northeastern Syria during the U.S.’ large presence in the region.