Russia expands military presence around Turkey amid tension
Nerdun Hacıoğlu – MOSCOW
In this photo made from the footage taken from Russian Defense Ministry official web site on Friday, Nov. 27, 2015, a Russian seaman stands next to a machine gun on the Russian missile cruiser Moskva, near the shore of Syria?s province of Latakia, Syria. AP photoMoscow has reportedly beefed up its military presence in the region around Turkey following economic sanctions after the Nov. 24 downing of a Russian SU-24 fighter jet by Turkey near the Syrian border.
14 helicopters to Armenia
Russia sent 14 helicopters to Armenia and deployed them to the Erebuni Air Base near the capital Yerevan on Dec. 8. Seven of these helicopters are armored Mi-24 attack helicopters and the others are Mi-8 model transport helicopters.
The number of Mi-24 attack helicopters could reach 15 by the end of the year.
Submarines to Mediterranean
Russia has sent a submarine called the “Rostov-on-Don” to the Mediterranean Sea, where Russia also houses a naval base in Tartus. The “Rostov-on-Don” has been equipped with Caliber cruise missiles.
Russia had previously sent two submarines and the “Moskva” cruiser carrying an air defense system similar to S-300 missiles to Eastern Mediterranean.
The Hmeymim Air Base
Russia has been using the Hmeymim Air Base outside Latakia, one of the strongholds of the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
There are an estimated 55 fighter jets in the base, including SU-30 fighter jets and SU-24, 2U-25 and SU-34 bombers along with seven Mi-24 and five Mi-8 helicopters.
The air defense systems of the base include Pantsir-S1, Buk-M2, S-200, Pechora-2M and S-400 batteries. The electronic Krasukha platform, which jams radar-guided systems, has also been deployed to the Hmeymim.
There are also an estimated 15 tanks and 30 armored personnel vehicles in the base.