Russia to establish permanent naval base in Syrian port city of Tartus
Last week, Russia had deployed its S-300 air defence missile system to protect the Tartus naval facility along with three missile ships. Photograph: (AFP)
Russians poised to transform its naval facility in the Syrian port city of Tartus into a permanent base after the country's lawmakers on Friday ratified a deal with Syria on its "indefinite" deployment of air forces.
The deal between Moscow and Damascus, signed in August 2015, paves the way for Russian jets to stay long-term in the war-torn nation.
"In Syria, we will have a permanent naval base in Tartus," Russian news agencies quoted deputy defence minister Nikolai Pankov as saying.
Although Moscow did not give a timeline for turning the facility into a permanent base, the announcement represents the latest move by Russia to bolster its forces in Syria.
Last week, Russia had deployed its S-300 air defence missile system to protect the naval facility along with three missile ships. It had warned the United States it would halt any attempted air strikes in Syria.
Russia had also established its Hmeimin airbase last year to launch operations against the Islamic State, in support of President Bashar al-Assad.
(WION with inputs from AFP)