Syrian war: Russian lawmakers allow Putin to fight in Syria 'indefinitely'

11:55 Oct. 12, 2016

Russian lawmakers allow Putin to fight in Syria 'indefinitely'

A Russian warcraft is seen flying over the sky after hitting residential areas in Tal Rifaat District of Aleppo, Syria on February 09, 2016. (GettyImages Photo)

Upper Chamber approves 'endless presence' of Russian air force at Syrian base, requested by Damascus

The Upper Chamber of the Russian Parliament, the Federation Council, has ratified an agreement, struck between the Kremlin and Damascus, that allows Moscow's air force to be stationed at the Khmeimim air base in Syria indefinitely.

Read also: Putin bombs Aleppo again – 30 airsrikes, dozens killed (video)

The ratification was supported by 158 members of the Chamber, with one abstaining, Russian news agency Interfax reports, saying the presence of the Russian aircraft in Syria was requested by Damascus.

According to the deal, Russia is allowed to use the Khmeimim base and its infrastructure ‘free-of-charge'. In addition, Moscow's personnel and ammunition, needed for the air force, can enter Syria unchecked by the country's border patrols and customs service.

Syria has also agreed not to file any lawsuit against Russia, its air force and servicemen, if it ever comes to it.

Read also: Syrian opposition wants EU sanctions against Russia

Russian military operation in Syria started on September 30, 2015. The Kremlin has conducted multiple air strikes in the country since then, saying it only targets terrorists.

The West, in turn, has repeatedly accused Moscow of killing those, opposing the country's leader Bashar al-Assad, who is often called a bloody dictator.

Western diplomats even went as far as calling Moscow's activities in Syria ‘war crimes'. 

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