Putin says Russian frigates in Mediterranean on standby over Syria threat

Putin says Russian frigates in Mediterranean on standby over Syria threat

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Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russian military vessels with Kalibr cruise missiles would be on permanent standby in the Mediterranean to counter what he said was the terrorist threat in Syria. The deployment shows how Russia has increased its military presence in the Middle East since it launched an intervention in Syria in 2015, turning the tide of the civil war in favor of its close ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Russia has in the past fired Kalibr cruise missiles from frigates and submarines stationed in the Mediterranean Sea at militant targets to support Syrian army offensives.