Matthew Weaver and Brian Whitaker
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 4 September 2012
Russia considered quitting Tartous base
Russia considered evacuating military personnel from its base on the Syrian coast, but decided the situation was stable enough not to warrant the move, Reuters reports citing the Interfax.
Any such evacuation could signal the Kremlin feared Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was in danger of falling to rebels fighting to oust him.
The Interfax report indicated Moscow has no immediate plans to abandon a supply and maintenance base in the Mediterranean port of Tartous that is Russia's only naval facility outside the former Soviet Union.
"Plans for a long-distance mission by a detachment of Russian navy ships foresaw the possibility of evacuating Russian specialists from Syria," Interfax quoted the unnamed source in Russia's armed forces general staff as saying.
The evacuation plan was meant to be carried out if the situation in Syria turned critical, the source said. But analysts at the General Staff determined that the situation was sufficiently stable and the naval facility was not under threat.....
Rebels claim to have captured missiles