The Russian “News RE” website sheds light on Russia’s efforts to invest its hegemony over Damascus, and its keenness to benefit from coastal areas, by establishing health and tourism facilities aimed at serving Russian soldiers and tourists, within the framework of agreements it said had angered the Syrian opposition.
The site said that news sites affiliated with the Syrian opposition recorded a growth in the Russian hegemony over the coastal areas in Syria, as Moscow has recently been keen to enhance its commercial activity in parts of Latakia governorate bordering the Mediterranean Sea.
The site quoted local Syrian sources that there is increasing concern about the influx of Russian employees and workers, in addition to the renaming of some tourism facilities and institutions. These sources noted that the coastal areas have recently become a target for Russian commercial activity.
Sources in Latakia Governorate pointed to the fact that Moscow has shown its desire to control the most important tourist resorts in this province. Bashar al-Assad’s opponents warn that the Russians are working to impose rules that suit them in coastal areas.
Some experts believe that Moscow decided during the last stages of the armed conflict in the country to engage in developing the infrastructure in the tourism sector in order to benefit from it in the future.
The Russian website quoted other local sources, who requested anonymity, to record increasing activities in Wadi Qandil and the Blue Beach resort, while the names of other places were changed to Russian, in addition to adjusting the menus of restaurants and hotels to suit the desires of Russian tourists. A large influx of Russian speaking employees was also observed this summer.
The site indicated that the Syrian ambassador in Moscow, Riyad Haddad, revealed two years ago that there were plans to attract tourists from the Russian Federation, and Haddad emphasized at the time in a meeting with the Russian media on the need to develop religious tourism in his country, stressing that the security situation has greatly improved.
He said, “You can now move safely from Damascus airport to the archaeological and historical areas and the beaches of Lattakia. Russian citizens will not face any problems in obtaining travel documents.”
The website reported that flights have naturally resumed between the two countries since 2018, as the Cham Wings Company, which is subject to Western sanctions, conducted its first flight from Vnukovo International Airport on the fourth of July of last year.
The site suggested that the Syrian opposition is angry at the recent decision of Bashar al-Assad to hand over an area in Latakia Governorate to Moscow, in order to build a treatment and health rehabilitation center dedicated to the Russian Air Force.
An agreement in this regard was signed on July 21 in Damascus and on July 30 in Moscow, but it was not revealed until August, and this agreement between Moscow and Damascus stipulates that the area of this granted area amounts to eight hectares of land. And an equivalent area of water.
Russia will bear all the expenses related to establishing communications networks and building facilities, but the exact location that was granted to Russia under this agreement has not been revealed, at a time when Russia, through its arms spread across Syria, continues to market itself in a humane manner, as a way to distribute aid, taking advantage of the deteriorating living situation of the population. Syrians in regime-controlled areas.
Russia, during its presence in Syria, seeks to empower its military and economic influence, by signing long-term contracts with the Assad regime, which Russia is exploiting for complete control of economic resources in Syria, and it provides it with military support in exchange for signing those contracts and completing its control over military bases, ports, phosphate and oil projects, etc. Of resources.
Since its intervention in Syria, Russia has continued, across the world, in violating all international laws and customs, and during the past years Russia has taken the Syrian lands as a field for testing its destructive weapons on the bodies of children and women of the Syrian people, thus inflicting thousands of martyrs and wounded with its various lethal missiles. At a time when most of the Syrian cities were destroyed and turned into rubble, in order to test the extent of their missiles’ ability to destroy, thus violating all the standards of the international community, which blinded them to their deterrence.