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Russia conducts drills off Syria's coast

Jan. 11, 2013 at 10:23 AM

MOSCOW, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Ships of Russia's Black Sea and Baltic fleets began military exercises off the coast of Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry said Friday.

The ministry said the ships would practice supply transfers at sea during daylight and darkness and perform anti-submarine warfare drills, RIA Novosti reported.

Russia has a naval facility at Tartus on the Mediterranean coast of Syria, which is locked in a civil war that began in March 2011.

The Defense Ministry said the frigate Severomorsk will dock at the Greek port of Suda during an anti-piracy mission to the Gulf of Aden Jan. 14-18.

In Suda, Russian Naval Infantry soldiers will visit a NATO training center "to get additional training," the ministry said.

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