However, Russian military experts have said that Russia is not planning to build a military air base in Syria, RIA Novosti reported.
According to Russian former head of the International Treaty Directorate of the Defense Ministry Lieutenant-General Yevgeny Buzhinsky, construction of the Russian air base near Latakia is disadvantageous as it would require spending considerable time and resources, which seems unreasonable in the current conditions.
“There is no sense in creating a military air base there (Syria). Judge for yourself: it is a very expensive and technically complex thing that cannot be done in just a few months,” the expert said.
The spokesman did say that the Russian side could well assist Syria in the reconstruction of the field aerodrome, the aim of which would be receiving humanitarian aid.
It was reported that the installation of new lighting and radio equipment on the airfield and reconstruction work on the runway is underway in Latakia.
Buzhinsky stressed that the reconstruction of the runway in Latakia is justified, in view of the increasing threat of ISIL terrorists taking over Damascus airport.
The former Chief of the Main Directorate of International Military Cooperation of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, Leonid Ivashov, said that the statement released by the Pentagon is mere propaganda and is not supported by actual facts.
“As far as I know, there are no plans to create an air base near Latakia. It is fictional Western propaganda. Building military installations and signing agreements on military-technical cooperation with sovereign states is our legitimate right and no one has the right interfere in that,” he said.
The expert recalled that the US itself has about 700 bases and military facilities in overseas territories.
“In carrying out military-technical cooperation with Syria, Russia is helping to protect the people of the Syrian Arab Republic from aggression which was organized with the help of the United States,” he added.