- The Russian navy base in Tartus, Syria, is Moscow’s only such facility outside the territory of the former Soviet Union.
- Russia, working with the regime of Bashar Assad, has increased its at Tartus in recent years, giving Russia’s navy a bigger foothold in the Mediterranean Sea.
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TARTUS, Syria (AP) — A Russian submarine has moored at Russia’s base in Syria after a patrol mission while another one is getting ready to sail off after replenishing supplies — the rotation that underlines Moscow’s growing military foothold in the Mediterranean Sea.
The naval base in Tartus is the only such facility Russia has outside the former Soviet Union. In 2017, Moscow struck a deal with Syrian President Bashar Assad to extend its lease on Tartus for 49 years. The agreement allows Russia to keep up to 11 warships there, including nuclear-powered ones.
Russia has waged a military campaign in Syria since September 2015, allowing Assad’s government to reclaim control over most of the country following a devastating civil war.
An air base in the nearby province of Latakia has been the main hub for the Russian military campaign, while the commercial ports in Latakia and Tartus have served as top supply hubs, handling ships with fuel and military equipment in a massive supply effort dubbed the “Syrian Express.”
“Russia has come here for a long time,” said Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov.
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