January 8, 2012
A large Russian naval force arrived at the Syrian port city of Tartus, the French AFP news agency reported on Sunday, in what the regime of President Bashar Assad is calling a show of “friendship.”
Last November, a Syrian news agency reported that Russian warships were planned to arrive at Syrian territorial waters, indicating that the move represented a clear message to the West that Moscow would resist any foreign intervention in the country’s civil unrest.
Citing the official Syrian news agency SANA on Sunday, AFP reported that a large Russian naval flotilla, led by an aircraft carrier, is making a six-day port call to Tartus. SANA also quoted a Russian naval officer as saying that the a visit was “aimed at bringing the two countries closer together and strengthening their ties of friendship.”
“The commanders of the Russian naval vessels docked in Tartus took turns to express their solidarity with the Syrian people,” SANA added