Russia To Hold Mediterranean Naval Drills As Syria Tensions Rise

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MOSCOW – Russia’s Ministry of Defense said on Thursday it would hold a major naval exercise in the Mediterranean Sea from Sept. 1 to Sept. 8, the TASS news agency reported, a move that coincides with rising tensions between Moscow and Washington over Syria.

Russia has this month been actively expanding its naval forces in the Mediterranean, part of what a Russian newspaper on Tuesday called Moscow’s largest naval build-up since it entered the Syrian conflict in 2015.

TASS cited the defense ministry as saying that 25 warships and submarines and 30 planes, including fighter jets and strategic bombers, would take part, and that the drills would involve anti-aircraft, anti-submarine and anti-mining exercises.

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