The Kuwaiti newspaper al-Rai reported that Russia is preparing to deploy a second military base in Syria. Group of Russian Air Force as well as relief-and-rescue and monitoring units will be deployed in Shairat airbase in Homs. The number of Russian aircraft based in Syria may then rise up to 100.
“Shairat base has 45 reinforced aircraft hangars protecting jets from shelling,” reported the Arabic-language newspaper.
According to the Kuwaiti daily, the airbase has a 3-km primary runway capable of accommodating aircraft of any type, and a reserve runway whose preparation is nearing complition.
The Arab paper believes that the operation of Shairat airbase under the Russians would mean an increase in the number of Russia’s air fleet deployed in Syria up to 100 aircraft and more. Additional Russian troops to secure and maintain the base will be deployed in the region as well.
A source in the Russian defense ministry said Shairat base is essential for further operations in the Southern and Eastern parts of Syria.
“To carry forward attack in Palmyra and further to the East, in Deir-ezzur, the Hmeimim base is quite far away, specially for operations of attack aircraft and helicopters”. According to him, the Russian Air Force previously used Shairat airport as a staging airfield.