New law allows Russian forces to remain in Syria for 49 years

Bruno Cirelli
Agosto 2, 2017

President Vladimir Putin has signed a law ratifying a deal with the Syrian government allowing Russian Federation to keep its air base in Syria for nearly half a century, official documents show.

It now allows the Russian air group to use the air base in Latakia for 49 years free of charge. The base, located in Latakia province, has been used by Russian Federation to conduct airstrikes against opponents of the Assad regime since September 2015.

The protocol to the 2015 Russian-Syrian agreement "aimed at establishing the worldwide legal framework governing the conditions for the location of the Russian air force group" was signed in Damascus on January 18, 2017.

The protocol was signed in Damascus on January 18, 2017, and "is aimed at establishing the worldwide legal framework regulating the conditions for the presence of the Russian air group in Syria and boosting the defense potential of Russia and Syria proceeding from the parties' mutual desire to strengthen and develop military cooperation".

Russian News Agency TASS revealed that the document "specifies immunities and privileges, as well as the mechanisms for assistance on the issues of jurisdiction and legal aid on cases pertaining to civilian, criminal and administrative offenses".

The protocol provides for the expiry of its initial 49-year term to be extended automatically by 25 years.

The Russian Air Force was deployed to Syria on September 30, 2015 at the request of the Syrian government as part of the operation aimed at fighting terrorist groups.

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