Russia launches naval drills in Mediterranean

Russia launches naval drills in Mediterranean

PanARMENIAN.Net - Russia has started the largest naval exercises in the past few decades in the Mediterranean and Black Seas as a civil war in Syria continues to gain momentum, RIA Novosti reported.

The drills involve task forces from Russia’s Black Sea, Northern and Baltic fleets, strategic bombers, tactical aircraft, air defense units, paratroopers and naval infantry.

An official statement by the Defense Ministry, issued on Saturday, January19 says the exercises “are held in line with the Russian Armed Forces’ 2013 combat training plan and focus on interoperability of task forces from several fleets while on a mission in a far-off maritime zone.”

The exercises will continue until January 29 and involve over 60 drills, including anti-submarine warfare missions, missile and artillery firing practices.

The training may also include simulated beach landing and convoy escort missions as the task forces have four large landing ships and a variety of auxiliary vessels in their composition.

Some of the exercises are expected to be carried out in the eastern part of the Mediterranean, and, possibly close to the territorial waters of Syria, where rebels have recently stepped up their attacks on army installations in their determined drive to oust President Bashar Al-Assad.

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