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Russia Delivers Advanced MiG-29 Fighter Jets to Assad Regime

Russia Delivers Advanced MiG-29 Fighter Jets to Assad Regime

Sunday, 31 May, 2020 - 09:45
A Russian Air Force cargo plane landing at the Hmeimim Air Force Base near the city of Latakia, AP file photo
Moscow - London – Asharq Al-Awsat

Russia has delivered advanced MiG-29 jet fighters to the Assad regime, in a move to reassure Damascus.

The delivery came a day after President Vladimir Putin ordered talks to expand Moscow’s military position in Syria.

Syria's official news agency SANA, citing a military source, said the new fighter jets were handed over to the Syrian army during a ceremony at Hmeimim airbase in the western coastal province of Latakia on Saturday.

“The warplanes flew from Hmeimim to their deployment areas in Syrian airbases,” the source said.

According to the source, the newly-received fighter jets are "more effective" than their previous generation.

“As of June 1, 2020, Syrian pilots will begin to carry out missions on those planes in Syrian airspace,” the source said.

Putin had asked the defense and foreign ministries to work with Damascus to sign an additional protocol that would expand the Russian military presence in Syria under an agreement signed in 2015.

In other news, the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act goes into effect in mid-June, taking US sanctions against supporters of the Assad regime in Tehran and Moscow to a whole new level. The bill does not only target Russian efforts to keep the regime in power, but also affects Moscow’s ambitious post-war economic plans in Syria.

In Syria, the public is divided on how to perceive the bill, but many are concerned with its repercussions on the living conditions of Syrians.

Leaders in the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (NES), also known as Rojava, believe that the Act will exempt US allies in Syria from the sanctions.

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