Friday , December 2 2016
Home / News / World / US alleges Russia intends to build military base in Syria

US alleges Russia intends to build military base in Syria

Picture taken on September 24, 2009 shows soldiers near an S-300 surface-to-air missile complex during the joint Russian-Belarussian military exercises "West-2009" some 230km southwest of Minsk near the village of Volka. Russia has deployed sophisticated S-300 air defence missiles in Georgia's pro-Moscow rebel region of Abkhazia, the commander in chief of the air force said on August 11, 2010, news agencies reported.  AFP PHOTO / VIKTOR DRACHEV (Photo credit should read VIKTOR DRACHEV/AFP/Getty Images)
Picture taken on September 24, 2009 shows soldiers near an S-300 surface-to-air missile complex during the joint Russian-Belarussian military exercises "West-2009" some 230km southwest of Minsk near the village of Volka. Russia has deployed sophisticated S-300 air defence missiles in Georgia's pro-Moscow rebel region of Abkhazia, the commander in chief of the air force said on August 11, 2010, news agencies reported. AFP PHOTO / VIKTOR DRACHEV (Photo credit should read VIKTOR DRACHEV/AFP/Getty Images)

Washington: The Pentagon said Russia’s recent military build-up in Syria indicated that it intended to create a military base in Syria.

“We have seen indications in recent days that Russia has moved people and things into the area around Latakia (Syria’s coastal province) and the air base there that suggests that it intends to establish some sort of a forward air operating base,” Xinhua news agency quoted Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis as saying on mOnday.

Davis said the Pentagon was closely monitoring the build-up, but declined to provide further details regarding the Russian military personnel and equipment being flown to Syria.

While calling Russia’s military support to the Syrian government “unhelpful and risk,” Davis declined to comment on whether the US-led coalition had invited Russia to join the air campaign against IS.

“We have said before that we would welcome Russian contributions to the overall global effort against (the IS),” he said.

The New York Times on Monday reported at least seven giant Russian Condor transport planes had taken off from Russia during the past week to Syria and passed through Iranian and Iraqi airspace, citing US officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Under the US pressure, Bulgaria, a NATO member, had already closed its airspace to the Russian planes.

However, the Iraqi government had so far yet to take actions and still kept the airspace open to Russian planes despite being urged by US diplomats to follow Bulgaria’s example earlier this month.

–IANS