Two warships from the Russian Black Sea Fleet are heading to the Mediterranean to reinforce Russia's presence in the region, the Anadolu Agency reported Russian media saying yesterday.
Anadolu said that this came just one day after the announcement of the Russian defence ministry that S-300 missiles had arrived in Syria to protect the Russian military base in the coastal Syrian city of Tartus.
Russian news agency TASS said that the Russian warships Serpukhov and Zeleny Dol, which are equipped with Kalibr long-range cruise missiles, left Sevastopol on Tuesday and were expected to reach the Mediterranean yesterday evening.
Spokesman of the Black Sea Fleet Russian Navy representative Nikolay Voskresensky said that the "ships left their home port in Crimea on Tuesday as part of a planned rotation of Moscow's naval forces in the region."
The Russian defence ministry also said that the warships would be used to protect the Russian military boats along the Syrian coasts.
"Currently, the Russian naval group in the eastern Mediterranean includes at least six warships and three or four support vessels from all fleets," RT reported Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoygu saying.
"This is to increase the combat capabilities of the group," he added.