Syria’s Assad Credits Russia For Protecting His Government

USA World
Putin Joins Assad at Military Base in Syria. December 11, 2017 
AMMAN (Reuters) – Syrian President Bashar al Assad said the continued presence of Russia’s major naval and air bases in his country help counter the influence of Western powers in the region as the battle to crush insurgents was winding down. 
In an interview with Russia’s Ministry of Defence TV channel Zvezda on the fifth anniversary of Moscow’s intervention in Syria that tipped the conflict in his favour, Assad said Russia’s two main bases were important to counter the West’s military presence in the region. 
“This global military balance needs Russia’s role ..this needs (military) bases..we benefit from this,” Assad said adding Syria needed such a presence that his military commanders say countered Washington’s dominance in the region. 
Alongside the Hmeimim base, from which Russia launches air strikes in support of Assad, Moscow also controls the Tartus naval facility in Syria, its only naval foothold in the Mediterranean, in use since the days of the Soviet Union. 
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