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Russia sends another naval ship to Syria, reports say

By The Associated Press

This article was published December 30, 2012 at 10:11 a.m.

— Russian news agencies said the navy is sending another ship to the Syrian port of Tartus, where Russia has a naval base.

The reports Sunday by the ITAR-Tass and Interfax news agency cited an unidentified official in the military general staff as saying the Novocherkassk, a large landing ship, has set sail from the Black Sea port of Novorossiisk. The ship is expected to arrive in the Tartus area in early January.

The reports gave no information on the ship’s intent. But Russian diplomats have said that Moscow is preparing a plan to evacuate thousands of Russians from Syria if necessary. The Defense Ministry announced two weeks ago that several ships were being dispatched to the Mediterranean.

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