BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:10 P.M.) – A large Russian ship carrying tanks is making its way to the Syrian port city of Tartous, maritime observer Yoruk Isik reported on Thursday.
According to Isik, a large Russian ship from the Black Sea Fleet’s 197th Landing Ship Brigade was spotted transiting the Bosphorus Strait en route to the Port of Tartous in western Syria.
A final Syrian showdown looms: Heavily laden #ВМФ Project 775 #ЧФ Black Sea Fleet 197th Landing Ship Brigade’s Ropucha class LSTM (tank carrying landing ship) Tsezar Kunikov 158 transits Bosphorus towards Mediterranean en route to #Tartus #Syria. 14:00GMT pic.twitter.com/vEwXSskLst
— Yörük Işık (@YorukIsik) August 22, 2019
As pointed out by Isik, the Russian ship is likely carrying tanks to the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), who is involved in a large-scale military operation inside the Idlib, Hama, and Latakia governorates.
Over the last few days, the Syrian Arab Army has managed to score several important gains in the Idlib Governorate, culminating into the eventual capture of Khan Sheikhoun.
The loss of Khan Sheikhoun and several points nearby has resulted in the complete encirclement of the militant forces in the northern countryside of the Hama Governorate.
In addition to besieging the militants, the Syrian Arab Army has also managed to cutoff the Turkish military from their main supply route to the Morek observation post in northern Hama.