Russia sent warships to Syrian shore for evacuation of Russian citizens
Photo: Destroyer Smetlivy. Public relation service of Western Command
Russia sent four large assault ships of the Black Sea Fleet for possible evacuation of Russian citizens from Syria, as reported by RIA Novosty on February 18th.
Large assault ships Kaliningrad, Alexander Shabalin, Saratov and Azov will arrive to the Eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea. Besides, destroyer Smetlivy performs tasks in this area, the agency RIA Novosty inform referring to officials of Russian Ministry of Defence.
The fact that Russian warships are sent to Syrian coast for evacuation of Russian citizens is asserted by anonymous source in military-diplomatic sector. He also mentioned that the information about warships mission is not compromised. "However, considering the situation in the region and naval group deployment, we can suppose that the main task of Russian naval forces would be possible evacuation of Russian citizens from Syria", the source added.
Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on December 13 of preparing for evacuation of Russian citizens from Syria. Several days later Russian warships, including assault ships, were sent to the Syrian water area. That time news media published anonymous sources' states about evacuation mission of warships. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs characterized the information as "journalists conjecture". Later Russian authorities explained that the inter-fleet group of Russian Navy conducted large exercises in the Mediterranean Sea.