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article imageSupporting Syria, Russia sends spy vessel into the Mediterranean

By Michael Krebs     Sep 2, 2013 in World
Still unconvinced on the Western narrative with regard to the Syrian government's use of chemical weapons against rebels and civilians, Russia is sending a spy vessel into the Mediterranean Sea.
Citing its need "to gather current information in the area of the escalating conflict," Russia announced on Monday that it is sending a reconnaissance ship, the SSV-201 Priazovye, to the eastern Mediterranean Sea, Reuters reported.
The Russian news agency Interfax quoted an unidentified Russian military source, saying the ship left the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Sevastopol on Sunday night.
Russia remains a staunch ally of the Assad regime in Syria and is not convinced the United States, Britain, and France have made an adequate argument on the purported use of chemical weapons in Syria or on the need for military intervention against the Syrian government.
"What our American colleagues and the British and French showed us earlier and recently absolutely does not convince us," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, according to Reuters.
The proof of a chemical attack by the Assad government remains incomplete, Lavrov contends. And he says Western powers have not submitted names, locations, or evidence that the samples presented publicly were collected in a professional manner.
US Navy warships are positioned in the Mediterranean currently, and US President Barack Obama is taking his case for military action against Syria to congressional lawmakers.
However, Russia remains undeterred in their support for their Syrian ally. Russian support has bolstered Assad's confidence.
"The American threats of launching an attack against Syria will not discourage Syria away from its principles ... or its fight against terrorism supported by some regional and Western countries, first and foremost the United States of America," Assad said, according to Syrian state-run television, as Sky News reported.
It was unclear how long the SSV-201 Priazovye will continue patrolling the Mediterranean.
More about Syria, Syrian civil war, mediterranean sea, Navy, Russia
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