BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:00 P.M.) – The large Russian landing ship, the Saratov, entered the waters of the eastern Mediterranean this week, en route to a Syrian port, the Interfax News Agency reported, citing local Turkish media.
According to the report, the Saratov transited the Bosphorus Strait and moved closer to the Syrian port-city of Tartous, where it is expected to dock in the coming days.
This report was confirmed by the Turkish maritime observer and photographer, Yoruk Isik, who released a set of photos showing the Saratov transiting the Bosphorus Strait on Monday, January 11th.
Russia’s #Syria campaign: Russian Navy #ВМФ Project 1171 #ЧФ BlackSea Fleet 197th Landing Ship Brigade Tapir (NATO:Alligator) class LST Saratov 150 transited Bosphorus towards Mediterranean en route to the Russian naval base in #Tartus. pic.twitter.com/xjV7ctA6cE
— Yörük Işık (@YorukIsik) January 11, 2021
The Russian naval fleet currently in the Mediterranean consists of more than 10 combat and auxiliary ships, which are part of different units in the Navy.
According to reports, the large landing ships and auxiliary ships of the Russian Navy, in addition to ships chartered by the Russian fleet, are participating in the process of transporting supplies to the Russian aviation group stationed at Hmeimim Airport (Lattakia countryside).
Over the last five years, the Russian Armed Forces have increased their shipments to the Syrian Arab Republic, as they not only provide humanitarian aid, but also new weapons to the Syrian Arab Army (SAA).