Russia sends landing ships to Syria: report

A Russian warship carrying a marines unit has left its Black Sea port for Syria amid preparations for a possible evacuation of nationals living and working in the strife-torn country, news reports said on Sunday.

The Novocherkassk landing ship is the third such craft despatched since Friday to the Tartus port that Russia leases from its last Middle East ally, agencies cited an unnamed official in the general staff as saying.

The reports said the Azov and Nikolai Filchenkov landing ships had also been sent to Syria from their Russian bases.

The military source said the Novocherkassk would arrive at Tartus within the first 10 days of January.

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