• Russia’s defense minister said that Russia has started creating permanent naval and air force bases in Syria, according to RIA news agency.
  • Russia had previously said on three separate occasions  it had withdrawn from the country.
  • The bases Russia will now maintain permanent bases at Tartus on the Mediterranean coast and at Hmeimim as per an agreement it signed in January.

Russia has started establishing a permanent military presence at naval and air bases in Syria, the defense minister said on Tuesday as parliament ratified a deal with Damascus to cement Russian presence in the country, the RIA news agency reported.

The announcement seemed to contradict previous statements that indicated that Russia was withdrawing from the country — it had indicated as much on three separate occasions over the last two years.

Russian President Vladimir Putin initially announced he would be withdrawing the “main part” of Russia’s forces from Syria in March 2016, and then again announced the beginning of withdrawals in January and December of this year.

 

This article is courtesy of Business Insider.

Featured image courtesy of AP

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