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Russia has long coveted a permanent base in the Middle East, from imperial to Soviet times. The recent Russian intervention in the Syrian civil war stems from this desire to have permanent access to the Levant and the Mediterranean to further project power into the region.
Moscow seems to have gotten its wish as the Kremlin has signed an almost fifty year basing deal with the Assad regime for use of Hmeymim air base near Latakia. Russian President Putin signed the law into force in Moscow. The deal was signed with the Assad government in January of this year.
The Russian government portal announced the development today after both houses of the Russian parliament passed the legislation.
Since the Obama administration’s pullout of American forces from the Middle East, which in essence wasted a trillion dollars and the efforts of thousands of Americans who lost their lives in the conflict, Russia has filled the power vacuum created by Obama’s decision.