- The Washington Times - Friday, September 6, 2013

The Russian navy has sent four more ships to the eastern Mediterranean, including two amphibious landing vessels, the Associated Press reported Friday.

Two land ships and a reconnaissance vessel had already passed through the Dardanelles Strait, the gateway to the eastern Mediterranean, according to Russia’s Interfax news service. A third landing ship was en route from the Black Sea, and was just making a quick stop to pick up “special cargo” in Novorossiysk, before heading on to the Mediterranean. The report did not further define the special cargo.

Interfax reported a fourth ship was on its way to the region.

Kremlin chief of staff Sergei Ivanov said Russia was ratcheting up its presence in the Mediterranean Sea in case naval officials were tasked to evacuate citizens from Syria.

The Russian ships join several that the United States has deployed to the area.

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