Skip to main content

Four years in Syria, Russia expands military base, eyes challenges ahead

After four years of fighting in Syria, Russia expands military facilities, but the nature of looming challenges is political.
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu watch servicemen passing by as they visit the Hmeymim air base in Latakia Province, Syria December 11, 2017.  Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Sputnik via REUTERS  ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. - UP1EDCB15ZA3V

In the run-up to the fourth anniversary of the launch of Russia’s military campaign in Syria, the Russian military announced Moscow is eyeing expansion and reconstruction of the Khmeimim​ air base in Syria's Latakia province. The initiative, at the initial stage, involves the rebuilding of the second runway to allow the facility to service more aircraft.

Lt. Col. Konstantin Dolgov, deputy commander of the mixed air regiment deployed in Khmeimim, pointed out that the facility is already capable of hosting missile carriers. Earlier, the strategic airplanes of Russian Aerospace Forces (Tu-95MS and Tu-160) launched their cruise missile attacks on the positions of the opposition groups and Islamic State terrorists from Mozdok and Olenya air bases in Russia, sometimes having to refuel in flight.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.