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Russia Expands Tartus Naval Base

Veteran News
Veteran News
October 10, 2016
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Russia will soon expand its naval facility in the Syrian city of Tartus into a permanent base.“In Syria we will have a permanent naval base in Tartus,” said deputy defence minister Nikolai Pankov. "The corresponding documents have been drafted. Currently they are in the process of inter-departmental coordination.”The comments came during a meeting of Russia’s Federation Council’s international affairs committee.Pankov added that the “degree of readiness is rather high,” and that he hoped to ask the committee to ratify the move soon.Tartus is Russia’s one naval base outside of the Russian federation and its former satellite states. It lies on Syria’s Mediterranean coast between Lebanon and Turkey. The facility dates back to the Soviet era.


Tartus A Key Part of Russian Foreign Policy

It consists of one pier and has acted primarily as a repair yard and supply station for Russian warships conducting operations in the Mediterranean Sea. It is described by Russian media as a logistics facility.Tartus is an important base for Russia, although the center of its war efforts has been its Hmeymim air base near Latakia, Syria.Tartus was featured in a Syrian government tourism video, which contained shots of tourists using jetskis and swimming in the ocean.Pankov’s Defense Ministry has considered restoring other old military bases from the Soviet era as well. This would mark a direct challenge to the United States and would certainly affect the balance of power. As of now, the United States has thousands of bases in dozens of countries. The projection of Russian military power through foreign bases would bolster its image to world leaders who are unimpressed with the United States but wary of its global reach and economic sanctions.Russia has been fighting in the Syrian civil war on the side of President Bashar al-Assad. Putin’s soldiers have been repeatedly accused of war crimes and of indiscriminately bombing civilians in rebel-held areas.

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