Russia’s Defense Ministry is working to expand its naval base in the Syrian port of Tartus after recently expanding its main Hmeimim air base, located near the city of Latakia. Namely, according to satellite images of the Internet platform The Drive from the beginning of this year, it can be seen that the Russians have extended one of the two runways by about 1000 m, which allows large and transport aircraft, including heavy bombers.

A few days ago, TASS reported, citing a source linked to the Russian military, that Russia would build a floating dock (port) at its naval base in Tartus by 2022.

Mohammed Fayez Al-Asmar, a Syrian army defector now living in Turkey, told Al-Monitor: “It has become known that Russia wants to make long-term agreements on a permanent presence and strengthening its military capabilities in the Middle East.”

One of these projects is a floating dock in Tartus, which will allow it to become a starting point “for Russian activities in the Middle East and the Arabian Gulf region (Persian Gulf, op.cit.).”

“The permanent docks are huge and require extensive studies and major engineering efforts to build. In the meantime, floating docks may be dismantled and relocated to another suitable area in the future, ”said Mohammed Fayez Al-Asmar.