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INTERNATIONAL >Russia sending warships to the Mediterranean: Report

MOSCOW / TEHRAN - Agence France-Presse

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Russian President Vladimir Putin heads a meeting of commission on energy developing issues and ecological security at the city of Kemerovo Western Siberia on Monday, Aug. 26, 2013. AP photo

Russian President Vladimir Putin heads a meeting of commission on energy developing issues and ecological security at the city of Kemerovo Western Siberia on Monday, Aug. 26, 2013. AP photo

Russia "over the next few days" will be sending an anti-submarine ship and a missile cruiser to the Mediterranean as the West prepares for possible strikes against Syria, the Interfax news agency said on Thursday.

"The well-known situation shaping up in the eastern Mediterranean called for certain corrections to the make-up of the naval forces," a source in the Russian General Staff told Interfax. "A large anti-submarine ship of the Northern Fleet will join them (the existing naval forces) over the next few days. Later it will be joined by... a rocket cruiser of the Black Sea Fleet."

Putin, Rouhani agree chemical weapon use 'impermissible': Kremlin

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani agree that chemical weapon use is "impermissible" but oppose intervention in their ally Syria, the Kremlin said after the two held telephone talks. "Both sides consider that the use of chemical weapons by anyone is impermissible," said a statement posted on the Kremlin website late Wednesday.
 
"Considering the calls for outside military intervention in the Syrian conflict, they have also highlighted the need to seek ways to settle (the conflict) solely through political-diplomatic means," it said.
 
The two presidents discussed the Syrian conflict "at the initiative of the Iranian side," it said.
 
Iran, the chief regional ally of President Bashar al-Assad's regime, has spoken out against Western military intervention in Syria after suspected chemical weapons attacks on the outskirts of Damascus last week.

Iran's state TV is reporting that President Rouhani has said Iran will apply all efforts to prevent military action against the Tehran-backed regime of Syrian President.

While condemning chemical weapons, Rouhani was quoted as saying, "Early judgment can be dangerous, before clarification" of allegations that Syria used such weapons.
 
Russia has supported the Damascus regime throughout the two-and-a-half-year conflict by vetoing UN Security Council resolutions aiming to increase pressure on Assad and is widely expected to do so again.

August/29/2013

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