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Russian Navy Begins Permanent Patrols off Syria

Russian Navy Begins Permanent Patrols off Syria 16.04.2012
Text: Lenta.Ru
Photo: Smetlivy. sevastopol.info
Russian warships will start permanent combat patrols in the Mediterranean Sea off Syria, reports RIA Novosti referring to a high-ranking source in defense ministry.

According to the interviewee, Black Sea Fleet (BSF) destroyer Smetlivy is presently on patrol off Syrian coast. The ship will be shifted in May 2012.

As was earlier reported, Smetlivy will call at Syrian port Tartus where Russian Navy has a technical maintenance center, floating docks and workshops remained from Soviet times.

In Jan 2012, Russian task force led by aircraft-carrying cruiser Admiral Kuznetsov visited Syria. At the same time, cargo ship Chariot arrived at Tartus from St. Petersburg allegedly carrying weapons.

Current Russian government supports regime of Syrian president Bashar Assad who is countering armed rebels. For instance, Russia two times vetoed UN resolutions criticizing excessive violence against Syrian people. Moscow opposes arms embargo against Damascus, although the weapons can be used against civil population.

Due to such posture, some Syrians standing for change of political regime feel extremely negative towards Russia. Their indignation resulted in public burning of Russian national flags.

At the same time, Assad's loyalists thank Russia and wave Russian flags at their demonstrations.

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