Syrian President Bashar al-Assad admits Russia’s pivotal role in keeping him in power

DARAMSUQ — In a clear and explicit acknowledgment of the importance of Russian forces to securing the continuation of his regime after nearly ten years of civil war, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said in an interview with Russian Ministry of Defense media outlet Zvezda TV that the continued presence of the Russian military bases in Syria helped, and is still helping, to keep him in power.

Russian has maintained large military bases, including Hmeimim Air Base and the Tartous Navy Facility, in Syria since the Soviet era.

Russia began its military involvement in the Syrian civil war in 2015 with the launching of air strikes and began to reinforce its permanent military presence in the country in 2017 following an agreement with Assad’s regime.