Russia Sends Warships, Aircraft Carrier to Syria, Izvestia Says

Russia will send three warships to its naval base in Syria next month, including the country’s only aircraft carrier, Izvestia reported, citing navy officials.

The vessels including the Admiral Kuznetsov, which will have eight Su-33 fighter aircraft, several new MiG-29K fighter jets and two Ka-27 naval helicopters on board, will arrive at the Mediterranean port of Tartous in the spring, the Moscow- based daily said.

Russia maintains a servicing point for naval vessels in Tartous, its only military facility outside the former Soviet republics. About 600 Russian Defense Ministry staff work at the base, Izvestia said.

The naval mission to Syria, which has been an ally since the Soviet era, will prevent NATO military involvement in the Middle Eastern country, the newspaper cited former Russian naval chief Victor Kravchenko as saying. Syrian President Bashar al- Assad’s regime has pursued a crackdown since March on anti- government protests and came under unprecedented Arab League sanctions yesterday.

To contact the reporter on this story: Henry Meyer in Moscow at hmeyer4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net

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