Naharnet

Russia Warships Dock in Beirut Port awaiting Departure to Syria

Three Russia warships docked on Thursday in Beirut Port, and al-Mayadeen television reported that they will stay in Lebanese waters for three days before departing to Syria.

"The warships carry 700 soldiers and are planning to stay in Mediterranean waters for three days,” al-Mayadeen said, adding that they will then sail to the Syrian port of Tartus.

Russia's emergencies ministry on Tuesday had airlifted 103 Russians and citizens of former Soviet republics from Syria amid continuing violence in the strife-torn country and on February 19, Syrian authorities announced that it will send four ships to the Mediterranean, in anticipation of a possible evacuation of Russia expats in the country.

Moscow has airlifted small groups of its citizens from Syria on at least two prior occasions.

Russia has vetoed three rounds of U.N. Security Council sanctions against President Bashar Assad and has said that the Syrian strongman must be taken at his word when he says he has no intention to quit.

It is one of the only bakers of the government in Syria, where the U.N. says more than 70,000 people have been killed in an uprising launched two years ago.


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