Russia, Syria agree to allow Russian aircraft to stay in Syria indefinitely

A Russian Sukhoi Su-30 takes off from Hmeymim airbase in Syria. (Sputnik News)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a federal law on ratifying an agreement between Russia and Syria on the deployment of a Russian Air Force unit in Syria, the Kremlin reported on Friday.

According to a press release from NNA, the law was passed by Russia’s State Duma on October 7, 2016, and approved by the Federation Council on October 12, 2016. The agreement was signed in Damascus on August 26, 2015. Around a year later, the law was submitted by Russia’s president to the State Duma for ratification.

The deal stipulates that the Russian air force group will be deployed at the request of the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad at the Hmeymim airfield indefinitely, and at no cost to Syria. The unit is located at Hmeymim airfield which -together with its infrastructure and the necessary territory- is available for use by the Russian side on a non-repayable basis.

The air group’s composition is determined by an agreement between the parties, with Syria welcoming the Russian effort to combat terrorism on September 30, 2015. In March 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered to withdraw the main part of the Russian unit from Syria.

Tensions between the US and Russia have been running high over mutual involvement in Syria, particularly in regards to Russian aerial bombings and associated collateral damage that has taken thousands of civilian lives.

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  • Andy Wolf

    Andy Wolf is an Appalachian native who spent much of his youth and young adulthood overseas in search of combat, riches, and adventure- accruing decades of experience in military, corporate, first responder, journalistic and advisory roles. He resides in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains with his K9 companion, Kiki.

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