Satellite imagery of the Bassel al Assad International Airport in Latakia, Syria, confirms reports of sustained Russian military transport flights to the Syrian airfield, where the Russians appear to be establishing a base of operations, according to Stratfor, the U.S.-based private intelligence and analysis company.
The satellite imagery, captured on September 4, shows a recently constructed air traffic control station in the vicinity of newly laid asphalt surfaces, alongside shipping container-sized structures believed to be mobile housing units, according to the Stratfor report.
Construction is underway throughout the airport; surfaces are being leveled and new structures are being erected. Earthworks are visible along the entire length of the easternmost runway, likely part of improvements to the airfield to allow the ingress of heavier transport aircraft.
Foreign media have published several reports earlier on a build-up of Russia's military presence in Syria in support of Bashar al Assad's regime.
Meanwhile, the Russian Defense Ministry has been denying deployment of regular troops and weaponry to Syria.
The Russian media reported on September 13 of two Russian aircraft with "humanitarian aid" landing in Syria.