Putin signs airbase deal that will keep Russia in Syria for nearly 50 years

by WorldTribune Staff, July 28, 2017

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ratified a deal with the Syrian government that will see Russia maintain its airbase in Syria for almost 50 years.

Russian warplanes at Hmeymim Airbase. / Russian Defense Ministry photo

Under the deal, Russian forces will be deployed at the Hmeymim Airbase in Latakia Province for 49 years with the option of extending the arrangement for 25-year periods.

Putin approved the agreement after the two chambers of Russian parliament backed it earlier this month, according to the Kremlin’s official information portal.

The base has been the center of Moscow’s military presence in Syria since it entered the conflict in September 2015, helping turn the tide in favor of Syrian President Bashar Assad, one of Russia’s closest Middle East allies.

Assad visited the Hmeymim airfield last week to inspect weapons, personnel and armored vehicles. He was pictured sitting in the cockpit of a Russian Sukhoi Su-35.

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