Since the fall of ISIS is pretty much complete and Russia has withdrawn much of their forces, Russia now says they are establishing a permanent military presence in Syria using two military bases, one air and one naval base:
NBC NEWS – Russia has begun establishing a permanent presence at two military bases in Syria, the country’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said Tuesday.
During a conference call with the leadership of the country’s armed forces, Shoigu said President Vladimir Putin had approved the structure and staff at Russia’s main bases in Syria’s Tartus and Khmeimim.
“We have started to form a permanent presence there,” according to an official tweet quoting Shoigu, whose comments came as parliament ratified a deal with Damascus cementing the Russian presence in Syria.
The Hmeimim base has served as the main foothold for the Russian military campaign in Syria. Tartus naval facility has been in use since the days of the Soviet Union and is Russia’s only naval foothold in the Mediterranean.
According to Russia’s RIA news agency, the deal with the Syrian government will expand the Tartus naval facility and grant Russian warships access to Syrian waters and ports. It will allow Russia to keep 11 warships at Tartus, including nuclear vessels. The agreement will last for 49 years and could be prolonged further.
The Hmeimim air base, from which Russia has launched numerous air strikes in support of President Bashar al-Assad, can now be used by Russia indefinitely, according to the deal.
49 years is a long time.
During the last five years I believed that Assad’s days were numbered, as many were fighting a civil war to get him out of Syria, including ISIS, Erdogan, the US, and Saudi Arabia. But with all that’s happened in Syria over the last year, I no longer believe that is the case.
Now it appears that Syria is being partially carved up by the regional powers, some of which are being aided by the Assad Regime.
Turkey is fighting a successful war against the Kurds in Northern Syria and are taking that land for themselves.
Iran, a much bigger regional power thanks to Obama, now has a land route through both Iraq and Syria that goes all the way from Tehran to Lebanon.
Assad appears to have solid control of southern Syria and is allowing Russia, their ally, to set up two permanent bases there which also gives them unhindered access to sea ports and the Mediterranean.
While there is still fighting going on in the country, the civil war seems to be for the most part over with Assad victorious and strengthened by his allies.