Putin’s Advances in SyriaVladimir Putin confirmed Sunday that he is expelling 755 U.S. diplomats from Russia in retaliation for new sanctions passed last week by Congress. On Wednesday Mr. Putin ratified a 49-year lease on Hmeymim air base, near the coastal Syrian town of Latakia. Russia has used the base since 2015 to launch operations to defend Bashar Assad’s forces, attack U.S.-backed rebels and provide cover for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps operations inside the country.


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