Northern Fleet vessels head for Syria
Three large Russian landing ships carrying hundreds of marines will soon visit the port of Tartus in Syria.
Three Russian amphibious assault ships belonging to the Northern Fleet are in the Mediterranean now and are planned to reach Tartus late this week or early next week.
The ships, each with up to 120 marines on board, will spend a few days in the port of Tartus, where they will take on fresh supplies of food and water. Afterwards they will head for the Bosphorus and the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiysk, according to Interfax.
Tartus is the last Russian naval base in the Mediterranean. It was established in Soviet times, and is occasionally used by Russian vessels today. Currently no Russian ship is based there although civilian and military personnel are present. The naval logistics support base in Syria is now part of the Black Sea Fleet.
The three vessels heading for war-torn Syria are the “Alexandr Otrakovsky”, the “Georgy Pobedonosets” and the “Kondopoga”.
Vessels from the Northern Fleet have been visiting Tartus quite regularly the last years. Last time was in January 2012, when Russia’s only aircraft carrier “Admiral Kuznetsov” stopped at the base for replenishment of supplies, as Barents Observer reported.