Report: Russia to withdraw personnel from Syria base

MOSCOW- Russia is preparing to withdraw personnel from its naval maintenance and supply facility on Syria's Mediterranean coast, Interfax news agency reported on Wednesday.
If accurate, the plan would reflect safety concerns as the United States and its allies gear up for a probable strike to punish President Bashar Assad for an alleged gas attack his foes say killed hundreds of people.
The modestly staffed and equipped facility in the port of Tartous is Russia's sole military base outside the former Soviet Union, serving as a foothold in Syria and helping it keep warships traveling through the Eastern Mediterranean supplied.
Citing an unnamed source in the Russian navy headquarters, Interfax reported that the facility's personnel had boarded the repair vessel stationed there and that Russian warships would escort it out.