NATO reports Russian naval buildup amid Syria tensions

Orient Net 2018-08-30 10:45:00

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NATO said the Russian navy is building up its presence in the Mediterranean Sea amid growing tensions over the war in Syria, AP reported.

Russia has provided crucial military support for Assad regime militia, which are expected to mount an offensive in the northern Idlib province, the last major opposition stronghold in the country.

“We will not speculate on the intention of the Russian fleet, but it is important that all actors in the region exercise restraint and refrain from worsening an already disastrous humanitarian situation in Syria,” NATO’s chief spokeswoman, Oana Lungescu, said Wednesday (August 29).

She says several of the Russian ships are equipped with cruise missiles.

Russian defense officials could not be reached for comment. At least eight ships, including a missile cruiser and two missile-carrying submarines, have joined the Russian flotilla over the past three weeks. Russian media reports indicate there are around 15 Russian navy vessels in the Mediterranean overall.