London, July 11 (ANI): In an apparent show of support for President Bashar al-Assad, Russia has dispatched a flotilla of warships to its naval base in Syria.
A flotilla led by an anti-submarine destroyer sailed from the Arctic port of Severomorsk to the Syrian port of Tartus.
Russia's defence ministry insisted that the mission was part of a previously scheduled exercise in the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Black Sea, and at least one of the vessels in the flotilla has patrolled waters off Syria earlier this year, The Telegraph reports.
Western diplomats, however, said that the purpose of the mission is to show tangible support for Assad.
They claim that the move is to warn the West against military intervention in Syria and to prepare for the possible evacuation of Russian nationals from the country.
According to the paper, it was unclear whether the ships were carrying weapons supplies or large numbers of marines.
Earlier, Russia's deputy director service for military co-operation, had said that Moscow has decided to stop arms supply to Syria until the situation in that country stabilizes.
While the situation in Syria is unstable, there will be no new deliveries of arms there, he had said. (ANI)