Two US officials say Russia has heavy military equipment at their new airbase in Syria:
One of the U.S. officials said seven Russian T-90 tanks were observed at the airfield near Latakia, a stronghold of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The two U.S. officials said Russia had also positioned artillery, which they said appeared to be arrayed defensively to protect Russian personnel stationed there.
Reuters has previously reported that Russia had deployed about 200 naval infantry forces to the airfield. Moscow has also been sending about two cargo flights a day to the airfield over the past week, U.S. officials say.
Moscow has come under increased international pressure in recent days to explain what Washington and Gulf states say is a significant Russian military build-up in Syria, where the Kremlin has been supporting Assad in a four-and-a-half-year war.
Main battle tanks, artillery, hundreds of troops and more coming — Putin, unlike Obama, isn’t messing around.
And “explain” what, and to whom? Russia is preparing to do to ISIS what the West refused to do, and everybody knows it.