Russia sends spy ship as US prepares for possible Syria strike

Priazovye sails from Black Sea naval base as Vladmir Putin says deployment necessary to protect Russian security interest

Russia is sending a reconnaissance ship to the eastern Mediterranean as the US prepares for a possible military strike in Syria, it was reported on Monday.

The Priazovye left Russia’s naval base in the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Sevastopol late on Sunday on a mission “to gather current information in the area of the escalating conflict”, said an unidentified military source quoted by the Interfax news agency. The defence ministry declined to comment. Continue reading

Pentagon official: Russian warships may be carrying weapons to Syria

CNN has learned that U.S. intelligence agencies have identified three Russian amphibious warships in the eastern Mediterranean that are believed to be carrying weapons shipments that might be used to resupply the Syrian regime, according to a Pentagon official.

The United States has been tracking the ships since they left Russian ports several days ago. U.S. satellites were able to see some indications of containers being loaded onto the ships. Although it’s not confirmed, it’s believed the ships may be carrying some components of the controversial Russian S-300 air defense missile system and other weapons for the regime. Continue reading

Russian Navy makes rare port call in Lebanon

MOSCOW — The Russian Navy sent three vessels to the port of Beirut in 2013 on invitation of the Lebanese military and government.

“This visit was on invitation of the Lebanese side,” the Russian Defense Ministry said. Continue reading

Russia to deploy amphibious assault ships to protect nationals in Syria

MOSCOW — Russia has reported plans to send a naval force to Syria to protect against the Sunni revolt.

The Russian Navy was said to be planning to sail two amphibious assault ships to the Syrian port of Tartous.

Interfax said the two Russian Navy ships would contain what was termed a large group of marines. Tsezar Kunikov was designed to transport 150 troops and main battle tanks. The Nikolai Filchenkov was said to be able to transport up to 1,500 tons of equipment.

“The crews of the Nikolai Filchenkov and the Tsezar Kunikov and SB-15 rescue tug together with marines on board are able to ensure security of Russian nationals and evacuate part of the property of the logistical support base if need be,” a Russian source told Interfax.

Full article: Russia to deploy amphibious assault ships to protect nationals in Syria (World Tribune)