H/T Magic Martin
Times of Israel:
A flotilla of five Russian warships laden with hundreds of troops, which is headed toward Syria, is a show of force meant to deter Western armies from intervening in the war-torn nation, the London-based Sunday Times reported.
Previous reports cited Russian diplomats to the effect that the vessels were being put in place in order to evacuate thousands of Russians who still remain in Syria if the situation in the country called for it.
However, a Russian intelligence source was quoted on Sunday as saying that the presence of over 300 marines on the ships was meant as a deterrent to keep countries hostile to the Bashar Assad regime — a key ally of the Kremlin — from landing special forces in the country.
“Russia should be prepared for any developments, as it believes the situation in Syria might reach its peak before Easter,” a Russian diplomatic source was quoted as saying.
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