Russia turns Syria into part of its system for nuclear deterrence of US 

For the first time, A Russian Tu-22 bomber capable of carrying nuclear weapons lands at Hmeimim air base in Syria. It means that Syria has become part of Russia's nuclear deterrence system 

Russia is upgrading and expending its two bases in Syria, the Hmeimim air base and the Tartus naval base, both in Latakia province where the Russian military force based in Syria is concentrated. 

The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed that the extension of one of the two runways at Hmeimim had been completed, and that the runway can now be used for landings of Tu-22M3 bombers. The Drive website reported that Russia's giant An-124 cargo plane can also land at the Hmeimim base. The runway that was upgraded at the base was lengthened on both ends and now more than 3km long.     

In the middle of May, Russian military sources told the VOA network that the Russian military is expanding the Tartus base and is planning to build a large floating dock at the port in order to improve its capabilities for maintenance and repairs of ships.     

According to a statement by the Russian Defense Ministry, the upgrade of the second runway at Hmeimim was completed with the total replacement of the runway’s surface and the installation of new lighting and radio equipment. "The length of the runway was also increased, which made it possible to expand the capabilities of the airfield to receive and service aircraft of various classes,” the statement said, adding that all types of aircraft in service with the armed forces of the Russian Federation, including heavy planes, can now fly from the air base. "After completing training tasks for the development of airspace in the maritime zone of the Mediterranean Sea, the long-range bombers will return to permanent airfields on the territory of the Russian Federation," the statement said. 

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