A day afterannounced stepping down from the post of U.N. envoy to Syria; several major news agencies are reporting that three large Russian warships carrying around 360 marines were headed for the Syrian port of Tartus.
The naval move was a gesture of rising agitation of Syria’s closest ally, Russia, which has persistently supported Bashar Al Assad’s regime during its seventeen month onslaught on a rebellion. According to some analysts, Russia has no more tempting choice as it sees the Syrian government plummeting fast.
Meanwhile, Russia has rejected the reports of naval move, saying there were no such plans. The Russian navy has denied commenting on the reports.
“The ships are reported to be in the Mediterranean Sea and are expected to arrive at the port within days to deliver food and supplies to a Russian naval base there,” the Washington Post reported.
According to the LA Times, the Interfax news agency cited an unnamed Defense Ministry official as saying 3 warships, an anti-submarine ship and 4 smaller vessels may call on Tartus by Sunday.
"Most likely their task will be to evacuate the personnel and equipment of the base," said Alexander Golts, a defense expert and deputy editor-in-chief of Yezhednevny Zhurnal, or the Weekly Journal, according to the LA Times.
Kofi Annan recently told Russia and the United States to take on the task of saving Syria from a disastrous civil war. Hostility and bloodshed has gone out of control recently as the Syrian troops fight to recapture areas lost to the rebel forces. Besides, protesters in Aleppo demanded death for Assad in the wake of raging violence in the city and fifteen people were reportedly killed across the country.
The United Nations General Assembly denounced the recent attacks by Assad’s forces on rebel citizens in a symbolic vote that also condemned internal strife on the Security Council that has let down interference to stop the progress of a rising civil war.
The U.N. General Assembly also called for President Assad to step down and asked other countries to enforce sanctions on Syria. Russia and China had objected to those provisions.
"The acts of brutality that are being reported may constitute crimes against humanity or war crimes," UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon said of the Aleppo fighting, according to the Guardian. "Such acts must be investigated and the perpetrators held to account."