Iran Warships Return from Syria via Suez

Two Iranian warships sent by Tehran to the Mediterranean last week to help "train the Syrian navy" entered the Suez canal early on Tuesday on their way back to Iran, a canal authorities source told Agence France Presse.

The ships, a destroyer and supply vessel, came from the Syrian port of Tartus and were heading south towards the Red Sea, the source said, adding that they were due to complete their transit of the canal by Tuesday afternoon.

Their arrival in Tartus, announced by Iranian state media on Monday, came amid heightened tensions between Iran and Israel, fuelled by a longstanding row over Tehran's nuclear program, and as unrest continues to rock Syria.

Speculation has been rising that Israel might launch air strikes against Iranian atomic facilities.

Iran is a key ally of President Bashar Assad, and accuses Israel and the West of seeking to destabilize Syria, where activists say the regime's 11-month crackdown on pro-democracy activists has left more than 6,000 people dead.

Source: Agence France Presse

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