The Russian activity at an airbase in Syria suggest that the country plans to establish a airbase there, believes the Pentagon.
- We have seen movement of personnel and objects that indicate that they plan to use the base south of Latakia as an inline airbase, said Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis.
US sources said to Reuters on Monday that Russia has deployed seven tanks on the air base, which is under President Bashar al-Assad's control.
- Russia has deployed tanks on an airstrip that the country has helped build, according to two anonymous officials.
The seven tanks are of the T-90 class (pictured), armed with 2A46M 125 mm smoothbore tank guns capable of penetrating about 950 millimetres (37 in) of steel armour, and can also engage low-flying air targets such as helicopters.
The sources said that Russia has also deployed artillery on site.
Syria's ambassador in Moscow, Riad Haddad, categorically rejects reports of Russian forces in the country, calling it "a lie propagated by Western countries and the United States."
The Middle East 'Soap' scenario
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