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11:49 AM, July 20, 2017
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Russia To Set Up Permanent Air Base In Syria’s Hmeymim Airfield
Russian servicemen at the Hmeymim airbase in Syria.

Russia has got free use of Syria’s Hmeymim Airfield for 49 years, extendable by another 25, to base its air group, TASS reported today.

Russia’s upper house of parliament ratified a protocol to the Russian-Syrian agreement on the deployment of the Russian Aerospace Forces’ air group to Syria at its session on Wednesday.

The protocol was signed in Damascus on January 18, 2017, and "is aimed at establishing the international 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," TASS said quoting the documents.

Under the protocol, Syria will transfer to Russia for free use, a plot of land on the Hmeymim airfield and all its movable and immovable assets located there.

Russia will have jurisdiction in the area where the air group is located, and matters pertaining to its personnel, military servicemen’s families and civilian personnel. It sets forth the immunities and privileges, a procedure for cooperation on matters of jurisdiction and provision of legal assistance in civil, criminal and administrative cases.

The agreement will be valid for 49 years and will be automatically extended for subsequent 25-year periods.

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