James Dunn reports for the Daily Mail, Sept. 14, 2015, that according to Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis, seven Russian T-90 tanks and heavy artillery have been spotted on an airfield near the town of Latakia, a stronghold of Syrian President Bashar al Assad.
Davis said, “We have seen movement of people and things that would indicate that they plan to use that base there, south of Latakia, as a forward air operating base.”
It’s previously been reported that Russia had deployed about 200 naval infantry forces to the airfield. Moscow has also been sending about two cargo flights a day to the airfield over the past week, US officials say.
Moscow has come under increased international pressure in recent days to explain what Washington and Gulf states say is a significant Russian military build-up in Syria, where the Kremlin has been supporting Assad in a four-and-a-half-year war. Russia has said it will continue with military supplies to Syria and that its assistance to the Syrian army is in line with international law.
The military presence of Russia adds complications to the situation for the United States, which is using Syrian air space to lead a campaign of air-strikes against Islamic State.
- Russian troops are in Syria to help Assad regime
- Former CIA director Gen. David Petraeus wants U.S. to arm Al-Qaeda in Syria
- Turkish military enters Syria against ISIS
- Insanity: Obama admin considering closer ties with Syrian jihadists
- Pulitzer-award journalist says Obama admin made up intelligence for war on Syria
- Blowback: ISIS leaders are former officers of Saddam Hussein’s army