Russia to Expand Its Hmeimim Air Base in Syria, Reports Say

Second landing strip to allow key facility to serve more aircraft, Defense Ministry source tells Russian media

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Russia's S-400 air defense missile systems standing at an airfield at the Hmeimim airbase, Syria,  November 26, 2015.
Russia's S-400 air defense missile systems standing at an airfield at the Hmeimim airbase, Syria, November 26, 2015.Credit: Russia Defense Ministry/AFP

Russia is expanding its Hmeimim air base in Syria and rebuilding a second landing strip to allow the facility to serve more aircraft, Russian news agencies cited an unnamed Defense Ministry official as saying on Thursday.

The ministry has also set up new buildings to house aircraft at the site that will defend against drone attacks, the official was cited as saying. 30 fighter planes and helicopters are currently deployed at the base, he added.

>> Read more: The first step in a 1,000-mile journey to rebuild Syria | Analysis

Last month, Russia's military said militants fired three unguided rockets at the air base, injuring four civilians but causing no damage to the facility.

The Russian Defense Ministry added the rockets hit a village near Hmeimim, in Latakia province on Syria's Mediterranean coast.

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