Russia Expanding Military Bases in Syria – Is Africa Next?

  • The Russian base in Tartus is focused not only on Syria, but also on controlling the Mediterranean sea.
  • Russian General Shoigu announced the creation of the dense engineering academic facility.
  • The interest is in the Middle East and Africa.

Russian President Vladimir Putin gave an order to the Russian Defense and Foreign ministries to discuss with Syria the transfer of additional real estate and water areas to the Russian military. The Russian government approved the draft Protocol No. 1 to the agreement on the deployment of the Russian aviation group in Syria on August 26, 2015. After reaching an agreement with the Syrian side, the agencies must sign it on behalf of Russia. Changes are allowed to the document that do not have a fundamental character.

An actual order given by Vladimir Putin.

The Russian air force aviation group was established on September 30, 2015 to support the Syrian government forces in the war against terrorists. According to an agreement between Moscow and Damascus, it is located on the territory of the Syrian air base Hmeymim indefinitely.

In 2017, Russia and Syria signed another agreement, according to which up to 11 Russian ships, including those equipped with nuclear power plants, can be based in Tartus, the largest Syrian port and the main sea gate of the country. It was also planned to expand the base’s ship repair capabilities. The agreement is designed for 49 years and is automatically extended for another 25.

The Russian base in Tartus is focused not only on Syria, but also on controlling the Mediterranean sea. Ships and submarines that are currently located in the area of the base are able to strike targets located even in the area of the Bosphorus and Dardanelles Straits. In fact, Russia has taken control of the entire Eastern part of the Mediterranean sea.

Russian and Syrian flags in Tartus.

Additionally, Vladimir Putin gave an order to Army General Sergei Shoigu to expand Russian training facilities. The new Defense Engineering facility will be based in Russia. However, it will facilitate engineers for Syria and Africa. Shoigu stated “In recent years, the intensity of the use of engineering troops to solve various tasks during special operations and exercises, as well as to provide assistance to the population and the economic complex of our country has increased. A clear example is their successful actions in clearing mines in Syria and Laos, forcing a water barrier more than two kilometers wide on the Volga, and eliminating the consequences of a landslide in the Bureyskoe reservoir.”

Pew Research.

In Syria and Laos, Russian military engineers cleared more than 6,500 hectares of land, 17 thousand different buildings from explosive objects, and neutralized more than 100 thousand explosive objects.

To restore the hydrological regime of the Bureysky reservoir, 11 explosions were carried out with the use of 300 tons of explosives, and the total volume of rock production exceeded 470 thousand cubic meters. At the same time, such a large-scale task, the head of the military Department stressed, was completed in the shortest possible time.

The announcement of the new specialized military university coincides with the timing of the May 29 announcement of Russian military expansion in Syria.

According to PEW research, by 2100 the five largest populated nations will be in Africa. So is not a surprise Russia is expanding its reach into Africa. The question is, will Russia start using China’s Djibouti base, especially since China is expanding the base?

It is clear Russia continues on its planned path to gain more control on the global scale.

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Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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