The Syrian Arab Army on Saturday received the second group of modern and advanced MiG-29 fighter jets at a ceremony at Hmeimim base in Lattakia, Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported.
“In the framework of military and technical cooperation between Russia and Syria, the Russian side handed over the second batch of advanced and modernized MiG-29 fighter jets to Syria, during a ceremony at Hmeimim base,” a military source said.
According to the source, the received fighters are more effective than their previous generation and took off from the Hemeimim base towards the different Syrian air bases.
“As of June 1, 2020, Syrian pilots will begin to carry out missions on those planes in Syrian airspace,” the source concluded.
In another development, Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed the Defense Ministry to sign a protocol to the agreement with Syria on deploying Russia’s air task force that stipulates the transfer of additional facilities and water area to it, according to the president’s instruction posted on the government’s legal information web portal on Friday, TASS news agency reported.
Russia’s Defense Ministry has been instructed to hold jointly with the Foreign Ministry negotiations with the Syrian side and, upon reaching an agreement, sign on Russia’s behalf the said protocol, allowing minor amendments to be made to the draft with the Russian government’s approval.
Russia and Syria inked an agreement for a term of 49 years on deploying the Russian air task force at the Hmeimim air base. Under the document, the Syrian side transfers a plot of land at the Hmeimim airfield and facilities located there to the Russian side free of charge.
The agreement is valid for 49 years and is automatically extended for the subsequent 25-year periods, unless either party informs the other party in writing no less than one year before the expiry of the next term through diplomatic channels about its intention to terminate it.