Lebanon: Russia’s New Outpost in the Middle East?

    Michael Peck

    Security, Middle East

    How would Israel or America respond? 

    After gaining naval and air bases in Syria, Russia may now be setting its sights on Lebanon.

    Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev has ordered Russia’s Defense Ministry to seek a military cooperation agreement with Lebanon.

    Moscow wants Lebanese ports to be open to visits by Russian warships and Lebanese airports to be transit points for Russian warplanes, according to the Arabic-language edition of Russian media site Sputnik News (Google English translation here). The agreement would cover a broad range of activities, including joint exercises, counterterrorism cooperation and Russian trainers for the Lebanese military.

    Interestingly, while the Arabic edition of Sputnik News reported the Russian plan, no mention could be found in the English-language editions of several Russian publications. Nor in mainstream Arab news media such as Al Jazeera or Lebanon’s The Daily Star.

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