Fearing for its naval base and citizens on the ground in the conflict ridden nation, Russia is reportedly sending two amphibious assault ships to Syria.Oliver Carmichael at The Telegraph reports an unidentified Russian officer confirmed that “Two major amphibious ships – The Nikolai Filchenkov and The Tsezar Kunikov – are preparing to be dispatched to Tartus outside of their schedule.”
The two ships can off load 450 Marines and nearly 2,200 tons of equipment, through ramps at both the front and back of the ship.
The ships will be docking at Tartus, Russia’s only naval base outside the former Soviet Union where it’s suggested they’ll be used to help evacuate Russian troops and property.
There’s been no official comment from the Russian navy or defence department yet, but the Syrian government has been bombing Homs and Damascus today after 67 people were killed across the country in weekend fighting.
The peak in violence was so bad that the United Nation’s observers have suspended their monitoring missions.
With Tartus only 48 miles from Homs, Russia is no doubt concerned its people on the ground, instructing Syrians how to use Russian weapons at Tartus, may need to be removed if the fighting continues to escalate.
All this is going on while Obama is meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin in Mexico today, their first meeting since he reassumed the presidency earlier this year.
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