US says Russia could be planning air base in Syria

15 September 2015

Moscow continues to be Bashar al-Assad’s strongest ally

  • US says Russia planning Syria military base
  • Comments from Washington come days after military planes carrying aid land in coastal city of Latakia

The US has said Russia could be preparing a military base in Syria’s Mediterranean city of Latakia.

A spokesperson from the Pentagon, Jeff Davis, said there had been a flow of people and equipment to the city.   

“We have seen indications in recent days that Russia has moved people and things into the area around Latakia and the air base there, which suggests it intends to establish some sort of a forward air operating base,” Davis said on 14 September.

The comments from the US follow news from Syria’s state news agency that Moscow had sent two cargo planes carrying humanitarian aid to support victims of the war.

The planes reportedly flew into an air base near Latakia, which is a military stronghold for President Bashar al-Assad.

Meanwhile Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said the plane was carrying materials for humanitarian purposes.

Moscow has been a strong supporter of Al-Assad and his regime despite recent reports that Russia was planning a transition of power that could see Al-Assad step down to make way for meaningful peace talks.

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