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Russia to retain Tartus naval base in Syria

July 26, 2012, 17:30 UTC+3

Navy chief says Russian warships will not enter Syrian port

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Russia will retain its naval base in the Syrian port of Tartus. That’s according to Russian navy chief Vice-Admiral Viktor Chirkov. He said the supply center provides maintenance and technical support to Russian warships during anti-piracy missions in the Gulf of Aden. Chirkov also said that Russian warships currently holding drills in the Mediterranean will not enter Tartus. He stressed, however, that the Mediterranean coast was the Black Sea Fleet's strategic operational area.

Currently, there are 10 Russian warships, including large landing ships, and 10 more auxiliary vessels in the Mediterranean Sea. The Western Syria port of Tartus is Russia’s only foreign naval base outside the former Soviet Union.

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