According to Pentagon officials, Russia has increased its military presence in Syria. It seems that the most modern Russian battle tanks will be stationed at a new air base in Syria.
The amount of Russian weapons and equipment that is brought into the air base reveals Russia’s plan to use this airfield as a center for military supplies for the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
Based on satellite footage, airfield south of Latakia holds the following: approximately half a dozen T-90 tanks, 15 howitzers, 35 armored personnel carriers, 200 marines and capacity for approximately 1,500 members of personnel.
Russian foreign minister Sergey V. Lavrov said that Russia is supplying Syria with military supplies and it is logical that such shipments are accompanied by appropriate military specialists.
Since Russia will continue to provide its support to Assad in ongoing Syrian civil war, it inevitably causes further tension in Russia’s relations with the United States.
The US is doing everything they can to stop Russian flow of supplies, but without any major progress.
The US succeeded in influencing Bulgaria to close its airspace to the Russian flights.
The US also tried to force Iraq to close its airspace to the Russian flight. However, Iraq’s stance is still unknown since the country received help from both US and Russia.
Russia’s increased presence in Syria serves to provide Assad with needed advantage on the battlefield.
Also, this could create a new coalition between Iran and the Syrian government.
According to an expert on the Russian military at the American Foreign Policy Council Stephen J. Blank, the development of Russian strategic interests in Syria serves to enhance Russia’s position in the Middle East.
Later this month, Vladimir Putin is going to present to the United Nations his proposals for coping with Syria.