Special Report: Russia to expand presence in Syria, to control eastern Mediterranean

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Assad receives Russian special envoy (VT Damascus)

By Nahed al Husaini, Bureau Chief

Putin authorizes talks with Syria to take over additional facilities

On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an order instructing the Russian Ministry of Defense, with the participation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to hold talks with Syria about transferring ownership of more real estate and Syrian territorial waters to the Russian military forces, as part of the agreement between the two countries to deploy the Russian al-Qudhafi group in Syria.

The presidential order was published today on the official website of legal information of the Russian government.

The document states: “We support the adoption of the offer submitted by the government of the Russian Federation regarding the signing of minutes No. 1, annexed to the agreement signed on August 26, 2015 between the Russian Federation and the Syrian Arab Republic on the official characteristic of the Judicial group of the Russian armed forces on the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic, And that provides for the transfer of ownership of more real estate and water. “

The presidential order also stated: “We instruct the Russian Ministry of Defense to hold talks with the Syrian side with the participation of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and upon reaching an agreement, to sign the relevant minutes on behalf of the Russian Federation, and we allow the amendments agreed upon by the government of the Russian Federation to the draft document, provided that it Does not touch its basic principles. “
It is reported that Russia has an air base in Syria, “Hmeimim”, and a naval base in the port of Tartus.

It should be noted that these two bases are protected by short-range “Pantsir-S and tor-M2” air defense systems, as well as the long-range “S – 400” Triumph system.

Schwetkin: Expanding military bases will enhance its functionality and security

In the context, the Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee for Defense Yuri Schwetkin considered that the planned expansion of Russian military bases in Syria “will enhance its functions and security.”

Schwetkin said: “Tartus now has a somewhat limited function. It is supposed to make it a fairly complete naval base, which will have broader service functions, including ships in the Mediterranean, and carry out their repairs, of course if necessary. The matter, carrying out anti-terrorist attacks. “

Regarding the Hmeimim base, the Russian deputy indicated that he had the opportunity to visit it, explaining, “I tell you that civilian and military airports in this way are in very close contact … Of course, there is a need to separate them.”

According to Schwetkin, “In the next long steps, it is necessary to ensure the safety of the personnel and equipment present at the Hmeimim base.”

Schwetkin commented on the upcoming talks with Syria about transferring ownership of more real estate and Syrian territorial waters to the Russian military forces as part of the agreement between the two countries to deploy the Russian underground group in Syria, “The expansion will allow us to more effectively solve the tasks assigned to our groups in Syria, and of course, secure Individuals and armored vehicles present in this base. “

VT exclusive intel says the Russians are intending to install early alarm stations in the mountains surrounding the coastal region, build a new base in Ras Al Baseet, and expand their military presence by taking over the Lattakia port and annexing additional teal estates and territorial waters.

The timing of the presidential decree is questionable as it coincides with the execution of the Caesar Law expected to be applied in mid June. We wonder what will come next ?

Author Details
Nahed is VT Damascus Bureau Chief. She is a member of the American Institute for Middle East Strategic Studies (USA) and serves as Assistant Director of Arab-American and Muslim Congress (Detroit, USA). She has a Diploma in English Literature from Damascus University (1987).

She’s also been a reporter for Turkish newspaper Aydinlik, Special Coordinator for Arab-Armenian International Law Assembly, Correspondent for Qatari News Agency, Al Ayam news Paper in Bahrain, Al Liwaa in Lebanon, Correspondent for Petra News Agency in Jordan, correspondent for the Associated Press in USA, and worked as a freelance journalist for CBS, ABS and CNN in Syria. She is fluent in both English and Arabic.
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1 COMMENT

  1. Tartous is protected locally by a S-300 not a S-400. The second RuAF S-400 system is already up in the mountains 50 miles or so SE of Tartous which seriously increases its search range and thus ability to protect both Tartous and Hmeimen. Maybe they will put more radars up there to reduce the radar shadow areas that the IAF exploits over Lebanon.

    They could expand Tartous further (they are spending a lot there now) but taking over Lattakia as implied in the penultimate para would be a huge step as it is the key Syrian civil port.

    Not sure what the attraction of Ras Al Baseet is, its a holiday town only 50 miles north of Hmeimen with topography that doesn’t seem to suit an airfield or port. Central of NE Syria would make more sense.

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