Russia and the United States are enhancing their military capabilities and influence in Syria.
Russia has recently rebuilt the runway at the Hmeimim base, paving the way for the deployment of strategic bombers capable of carrying nuclear warheads, and the strengthening of the Russian fleet in the Mediterranean.
On the other hand, the United States is currently establishing new air bases in the eastern Euphrates region, as part of the new administration’s efforts to strengthen its support for Kurdish armed militias.
Social media circulated images showing the United States constructing a new military facility in Deir al Zour Governorate, specifically near the al Omar field, with a runway of about 1,000 meters.
The new base is not far from a base that the US military established in the area years ago.
The media and social networks also published pictures of a new runway at the US military base in al Shaddadi area in al Hasakah governorate.
The 1,200-meter runway was completed last January, thanks to which al Shaddadi base has become the largest US multifunctional base in Syria.
Depending on the size of the runways, these bases will be primarily intended to receive transport helicopters, combat helicopters, and tactical attack aircraft.
The pro-Assad militias and Russian Wagner fighters tried three years ago to take over the Conoco gas processing plant in Deir al Zour, but they faced a strong response from the Syria Democratic Forces and intense air attacks from the US forces, from their bases in Iraq and the Gulf.
After strengthening the infrastructure in eastern Syria, the United States will be able to repel any potential attacks without having to move its aircraft from remote air bases.
On the Russian side, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated last January that Russia does not aim to remove the US army from Syria or engage in armed clashes, but that does not mean that its position is weak.
In an analytical article published recently on the American “The Drive” website, Joseph Trevithick, a researcher specializing in security affairs, emphasized that the Hmeimim base is one of the most important pillars of the Russian presence in Syria, and through it Moscow is trying to expand its geopolitical and military influence to include the entire Mediterranean.
According to Trevithik, the expansion and restoration of the western runway at the Hmeimim base aims to ensure the landing and take-off of three Russian Tupolev Tu-22M, Tupolev Tu-95″ and Tupolev Tu-160″ bombers, in addition to the Tupolev Tu-160 -142” anti-submarine.
These aircraft will be able to respond more effectively to crises and unexpected situations in the Middle East and North Africa.
Russian military expert Yuri Natkashev believes that there are no political obstacles preventing the deployment of Russian missile carriers capable of carrying tactical nuclear weapons at the Hmeimim base, but the problems are related to how to transport fuel and lubricants to Syria.
As for the military expert, Oleg Shevidkov, he believes that strengthening the Russian military capabilities at the Hmeimim air base and sending strategic bombers will create new challenges for NATO, not only in the air, but also in the Mediterranean.