Russia to have a permanent naval base in Syria
Russia to estabilish a permanent naval facility in Syria. [Representative Image] The Russian Navy's missile corvette Mirazh sails in the Bosphorus, on its way to the Mediterranean Sea, in Istanbul, Turkey, 7 October 2016.Reuters

Russia will have a permanent naval base in the Syrian port city of Tartus. Last week, Russia had deployed S-300 long-range surface-to-air missile system there.

"We are going to have a permanent Navy base in Tartus. We have prepared the paperwork, which is now being reviewed by other government agencies," General Nikolay Pankov, Russian Deputy Defence Minister told the Federation Council, Russia's senate, RT reported.

"The documents are pretty much ready, so we hope to submit them to you for ratification soon," he added.

News agency AFP called the Russian decision of having a permanent naval base in Syria as an "upgrade" but Russian media called it "expansion."

Russians have been in Tartus since 1977. But after the fall of the Soviet Union, it became a naval supply and maintenance facility. Russian vessels deployed for missions in Mediterranean Sea use the depot in Tartus for repairs.

The S-300 missile system's deployment in Tartus also comes at a time when Pentagon said that it would target Syrian airfields in cruise missile attack. Russia had earlier warned that it would not allow such strikes.

Russia has also sent three missile ships to reinforce its position in the Syrian port city.

On Saturday, Russia had vetoed a United Nations draft resolution seeking to stop the airstrikes from Russian and Syrian aircraft on the city of Aleppo. The US has also accused both the countries of perpetrating war crimes in Syria over the offensive operation against rebel forces in eastern Aleppo.

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