Russia to base in Syria – permanentlyJune 25, 2018
Russia is no stranger to Syria. Throughout the Cold War, the port of Tartus acted as a major replenishment facility for units of the Soviet fleet deploying through the Black Sea to the Mediterranean. Soviet air units also periodically visited Syrian air force airbases.
Its presence in the country, together with its influence in the region generally, diminished rapidly following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the shrinking of the Russian fleet. With Russia again playing a more assertive role in international affairs, it is keen to re-establish itself in the region.
Moscow has made it clear that, as a major power once again, it wants to be listened to by the world – particularly by the west. And the Middle East has always been a region where it has sought to play a role, at least partly as a counterweight to the US presence there.