Putin Says Russian Naval Forces to Patrol Off Syria
Russian naval vessels will patrol off Syria, where Moscow is supporting President Bashar al-Assad's regime, in order to ward off terrorist threats, President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday.
"This year... due to the continuing terrorist threat in Syria, our ships equipped with cruise missiles will patrol the Mediterranean on a continuous basis," Putin said during a meeting with military leaders in the southern Russian city of Sochi.
Russia has been involved in Syria's civil war since September 2015. Its military support of the regime changed the course of the war, allowing government troops to retake more than half the country from rebels and the Islamic State group.
Putin praised the "precise and well-coordinated actions of Russian ships and submarines during the Syria operation and the cruise missile strikes... which inflicted considerable losses on the terrorists" operating in Syria.
In Syria, Russia has a naval base located in Tartus and an air base at Khmeimim.