Russia to Keep Tartus Base in Syria – Navy Chief

Russia will keep its naval base in the Syrian port of Tartus, Navy chief Vice Admiral Viktor Chirkov said on Thursday, despite the worsening violence in the country.

“The Russian Navy’s supply center in the Syrian port of Tartus will be preserved. We need it to provide maintenance and technical support to Russian warships during anti-piracy missions in the Gulf of Aden,” Chirkov said during an online broadcast, adding that the Mediterranean was the Black Sea Fleet’s strategic operational area.

The navy commander also said that several Russian warships are currently holding drills in the Mediterranean, but would not enter Tartus.

In late June, Moscow dismissed media reports that a large Russian amphibious ship carrying weapons and troops was en route to violence-hit Syria.

The base was opened following a defense agreement between the Soviet Union and Syria in 1971. Russia has maintained close defense ties with Syria and continues to supply defense equipment.


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