TEHRAN (Press Shia) – A Russian deputy foreign minister said Moscow intends to preserve two military bases in Syria after the full defeat of Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group in the Arab country.
Two Russian military bases in Syria, Hmeimim airbase in the western coastal province of Latakia and Tartus naval base, will probably remain operational even after the imminent collapse of Daesh, RIA Novosti quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov as saying on Monday.
“I think our two military bases in Syria will most likely remain functional but I do not know in what exact situation and level,” he added.
The diplomat also noted that Daesh forces have lost nearly 90 percent of the land they once held in Syria, but al-Nusra Front terrorists, al-Qaeda’s offshoot in Syria, still controls considerable swathes of territory.
The diplomat then made it clear that the scope of Russian military withdrawal from Syria would depend on the ongoing political and military situation in the Arab nation.
Russia has been supporting the Damascus government in the fight against terrorist groups.
A civil war has gripped Syria since March 2011. According to a report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injured 1.9 million others, and displaced nearly half of the country’s pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders.