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Russia's experience in Syria informs approach to Ukraine, NATO

The opportunity to field-test its next-generation weapons systems in recent years has emboldened the Kremlin to raise the stakes in Ukraine, and so has experience in brinkmanship with Turkey over Syria.
Syrian (front) and Russian soldiers stand at the Russian naval base in the Syrian Mediterranean port of Tartus on Sept. 26, 2019.

Six Russian landing ships from the Baltic and Northern Fleets, which had previously arrived at the Russian naval base of Tartus in Syria, were transferred to the Black Sea on Feb. 8 to participate in military maneuvers by the Russian army and navy.

The passage through Tartus once again demonstrated the importance of this facility for Moscow’s Mediterranean fleet. Tartus not only serves as Russia's foothold in the Middle East, but also as an element of military infrastructure for Moscow's global confrontation with Washington and Brussels. The same applies to the Khmeimim Russian air base in Syria, whose capabilities have been expanded recently

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