A high-ranking source in the Russian defense ministry says several Russian warships are on their way to the Mediterranean Sea to guard Syrian coasts for the foreseeable future.
“A decision has been made to deploy Russian warships near the Syrian shores on a permanent basis,” the state-run RIA news agency quoted the source as saying on Friday.
The source added that the Russian destroyer Smetlivy, which is patrolling waters off Syria now, will be replaced by another warship from Black Sea Fleet in May.
The official says several warships are on their way to the Mediterranean.
In January, a large Russian navy flotilla led by an aircraft carrier arrived at the Syrian port of Tartus in the Mediterranean to show Moscow's solidarity with Damascus.
Russia has voiced support for Syria against continued pressure from Western countries and some Arab states to destabilize the crisis-hit Middle Eastern country and topple the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
Moscow says Syria’s crisis should be solved through negotiations, rejecting military intervention to end the unrest.