Russia to Keep its Forces at Hmeymim Air Base for Decades

Russian President Vladimir Putin inked a law allowing Russia to keep its forces at the Hmeymim air base in Syria for decades to come.

The two Russian chambers approved the deal last month, according to the government’s official information portal.

A multifunctional fighter-bomber Su-34 of the Russian Aerospace Forces lands at Hmeymim air base in Syria.
A multifunctional fighter-bomber Su-34 of the Russian Aerospace Forces lands at Hmeymim air base in Syria.

The deal enables Russian forces to be deployed to the Hmeymim base for 49 years with the options for extending the agreement for 25-year periods.

The initial deal, signed in Damascus last January, sets out the terms to use the Hmeymim air base in Latakia Province. Russia has been using the air base to conduct aggressive air strikes against forces opposing President Bashar al-Assad’s military.

Russia supports al-Assad since September 2015, and the Hmeymim air base is one of the most important installations for Russian forces in the region.

Syria is one of the closest allies of Russia in the Middle East.