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Pentagon: Russia Building Military Base in Syria

Pentagon: Russia Building Military Base in Syria
Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Getty Images) 

By    |   Wednesday, 18 May 2016 05:48 PM

The Pentagon said Wednesday Russia is still conducting military operations in Syria despite its pledge to leave the war-torn country, and is even building a base there.

The Washington Post reports that Army Col. Steve Warren told reporters Russia still has a major presence in Syria.

"They continue to have air power there, they continue to have ground forces, they continue to have artillery," Warren said via teleconference from Baghdad. "They still have Spetsnaz [special operations forces] providing advice and assistance to the Syrian regime."

Warren confirmed Russia is also building a forward-operating base near the ancient city of Palmyra, where Islamic State (ISIS) militants were defeated in March by a joint effort between Russia, Syria, and Iran.

The Russian military said Tuesday the base is "temporary" and is being used to remove mines left behind by ISIS. Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, a spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, said Russian forces have defused roughly 18,000 explosives around Palmyra since March.

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The Pentagon said Wednesday Russia is still conducting military operations in Syria despite its pledge to leave the war-torn country, and is even building a base there.
pentagon, russia, building, military, base, syria
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2016-48-18
Wednesday, 18 May 2016 05:48 PM
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