Russia Sending Warship, Marines to Syria: Report

By Alex Johnston, Epoch Times
June 18, 2012 Updated: June 20, 2012

Russia is sending a navy warship and marines to Syria and will set sail for the restive country soon, according to a report from the Interfax news agency.

“The crews of the Nikolay Filchenkov, Ceasar Kunikov and SB-15 tugboat—together with the marine units they carry—are capable of protecting security of Russian citizens and evacuating a part of the property of the logistics base,” a Russian Navy General Staff source told the news agency, according to RT.

However, another Russian military source denied that marines would be on board a ship to Syria.

“The ship is in the state of instant readiness for departure like all of the fleet’s warships. There are no marines aboard the ship and there were no commands for a voyage towards Syria. The crews are engaged in day-to-day activities,” a military source told RIA Novosti.

The Interfax report stated that a large ship would head to the Russian sea port of Tartus, also carrying large amounts of weapons and ammunition.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also accused Russia of fueling violence by sending attack helicopters to Syria.

Russia and China have both blocked two United Nations Security Council resolutions that targeted Syria.