Russia sends warships to Mediterranean as Syria tension rises

Reuters | August 29, 2013

By Timothy Heritage

Russia is sending two warships to the east Mediterranean, Interfax news agency said on Thursday, but Moscow denied this meant it was beefing up its naval force there as Western powers prepare for military action against Syria.

Interfax quoted a source in the armed forces’ general staff as saying Russia, Syria’s most powerful ally, was deploying a missile cruiser from the Black Sea Fleet and a large anti-submarine ship from the Northern Fleet in the “coming days”.

Any strengthening of the navy’s presence could fuel tension, especially as the United States has said it is repositioning naval forces in the Mediterranean following an alleged chemical weapons attack which is blames on Syrian government forces.

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