Syria would welcome an increased Russian military presence at its sea ports, President Bashar al-Assad said in an interview with Russian news channels published Friday.

“I can say with complete confidence that we welcome any widening of the Russian presence in the Middle East,” including the Syrian port of Tartus on the Mediterranean Sea, Assad said.

“For us, the larger this presence in our neighbourhood, the better it is for stability in this region,” he told journalists. […]