OSCOW - Russia is preparing to send marines to Syria in the event that it needs to protect personnel and remove equipment from its naval facility in the Mediterranean port of Tartus, Interfax news agency reported on Monday.
Syria is Moscow's firmest foothold in the Middle East, buys weapons from Russia worth billions of dollars, and hosts the Russian navy's only permanent warm water port outside the former Soviet Union.
The report cited an unidentified officer in the naval command. The navy and Defense Ministry declined immediate comment.
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