[Ed. – All the reporting up to now has been from other sources. This is the first reporting that claims to have U.S. officials as sources. Note that Russian would not be building a new base in Latakia, but would be expanding/improving facilities Russia has maintained in that port for more than 40 years.]
Russia is building a military base in Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s heartland, according to American intelligence officials, in the clearest indication yet of deepening Russian support for the embattled regime of Bashar al-Assad.
The anonymous officials say Russia has set up an air traffic control tower and transported prefabricated housing units for up to 1,000 personnel to an airfield serving the Syrian port city of Latakia.
Russia has also requested the rights to fly over neighbouring countries with military cargo aircraft during September, according to the reports. …
The new US details came in the week that Vladimir Putin gave his strongest admission yet that Russia was already providing some military and logistical support to Syria.
“We are already giving Syria quite serious help with equipment and training soldiers, with our weapons,” he said during an economic forum in Vladivostok on Friday, according to the state-owned RIA Novosti news agency.