BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:45 P.M.) – A heavily-laden Russian transport ship was photographed on Monday making its way through Turkish territorial waters, en-route to the Syrian port of Tartous.
According to the Turkish maritime observer and photographer, Yoruk Isik, the Russian ВМФ Project 775 ЧФ Black Sea Fleet 197th Landing Ship Brigade’s Ropucha class LSTM (tank carrying landing ship) Novocherkassk 142 transited the Bosphorus Strait on Monday, December 21st, as it continued its voyage to the port-city of Tartous in western Syria.
Russia’s #Syria campaign continues: Heavily laden #ВМФ Project 775 #ЧФ Black Sea Fleet 197th Landing Ship Brigade’s Ropucha class LSTM (tank carrying landing ship) Novocherkassk 142 transits Bosphorus towards Mediterranean en route to #Tartus Syria. pic.twitter.com/xZUOZvnkRB
— Yörük Işık (@YorukIsik) December 21, 2020
As pointed out by Isik in the tweet above, the Russian vessel en-route to Syria is a tank-carrying landing ship, which indicates that it is most likely transporting heavy equipment to the Syrian Armed Forces.
The Russian Ministry of Defense’s military shipments to Syria have mostly decreased in 2020, as the clashes between warring parties have dissipated.
However, the Russian and Syrian forces have recently launched a new joint operation against the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL/IS/Daesh) along the Iraqi border, which will require a large number of military personnel and equipment.
With a large portion of the Syrian military’s equipment previously positioned in the northwestern part of the country, this latest delivery could help replenish the tanks and armored vehicles moved from this region to eastern Syria.