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Russian combat ships to provide no air defense support for French navy off Syria — source

November 18, 2015, 16:02 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Some media reports said earlier that the Russian naval ships in Syrian waters would provide combat support for the French aircraft carrier in its operation against Islamic State
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© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

MOSCOW, November 18. /TASS/. Russian combat ships in Syrian waters will provide no air defense or antisubmarine support for the French aircraft carrier-led group as it can accomplish these missions independently, a source in defense and diplomatic circles told TASS on Wednesday.

Some media reports said earlier that the Russian naval ships in Syrian waters would provide combat support for the French aircraft carrier in its operation against the Islamic State terrorist organization in Syria.

"In fulfillment of the orders by Supreme Command-in-Chief Vladimir Putin, the Russian Navy’s task force staying in Syrian waters will exercise close interaction with the French aircraft carrier grouping at sea and in the air, including anti-subversion and anti-terror activity. However, there is no talk about our ships’ antisubmarine and air defense support for the French naval grouping led by the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle," the source said.

According to the source, the French naval group can accomplish these missions independently. "It has sufficient strength and capabilities for these purposes," he said.

Currently, the Russian naval task force comprising up to ten combat ships and several support vessels from the Black Sea, Baltic and Northern Fleets is staying in Syrian waters. The naval task force is led by the Guards missile cruiser Moskva, the source added.

"Recently, the naval task force was joined by the Northern Fleet’s large anti-submarine warfare ship Vice-Admiral Kulakov and the Black Sea Fleet’s small missile ship Mirazh, the source said.

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