Russia will be building up a new army base for its troops and officers in Khirbet Ra’es Al Waer in Syria. The territory has been leased by Damascus to Moscow for 49 years and to be renewable for another 25 years under mutual consent.
The leasing was signed earlier this year in January and late last month the Russian technicians and military personnel have started construction work. Khirbet Ra’es Al Waer is a small town in Syria and very close to the capital city, about just 50km.
The new army base will be exclusively made accessible to the Russian troops and officers. It will be equipped with all the required features like control towers, refuelling stations, missile launchers, runways, radars and air defence systems.
The territory to have housing units for up to 1,000 Russian soldiers.
Russia has two other air bases in Syria after Vladimir Putin authorized a military intervention in 2015. These are located in the coastal cities of Latakia and Tartous.
According to senior diplomatic editor at Ahsarq Alawsat, Ebrahim Hamidi, Russia is trying to position itself as significant player in the country and with the new base it will try to safeguard American and Israeli interests.
Moscow will also try pushing back the Iranian and Hezbollah militants back. The base is less than 100km from the Syrian-Jordanian border.
Syrian government will refrain from sending warplanes, soldiers and tanks to the new zone. However, it will reopen government schools and police stations which were running through the territory earlier.