Russia begins major anti-terror naval drills in the Mediterranean Sea
Russia has launched anti-terror maneuvers in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea near Syria, the Defense Ministry says.
The ministry’s press office said on Monday that the Serpukhov and Zelyony Dol warships, which are equipped with Kalibr cruise missiles, “will practice a number of assignments together with warships of the Russian Navy’s permanent grouping in the Mediterranean.”
The statement added that the maneuvers “will check the ability of the fleet’s forces to operate in the conditions of resolving crisis situations of terrorist nature.”
The drills will include artillery and missile live-firing in conditions that simulate actual battle circumstances.
The Russian forces will practice setting up communications, helping a ship damaged in a terrorist attack and intercepting a vessel with terrorists on board in the exercises.
The warships equipped with Kalibr cruise missiles are expected to return to their home base late this month.
Russia has a base in the Syrian port of Tartus. It also operates an air field southeast of the Syrian city of Latakia. Russia has been conducting strikes, mostly aerial, against ISIS in Syria at the request of the Syrian government since September 30, 2015.
Also on Monday, the Russian Navy began maneuvers in the southwestern part of the Caspian Sea. The maneuvers are slated to continue until August 20.
The Tatarstan, Grad Sviyazsk and Veliky Ustyug are among the more than 20 warships that are taking part in the Caspian Sea drills along with a number of boats and warplanes.
The warships, which are also armed with Kalibr cruise missiles, had previously participated in Russia’s operations against militants in Syria in 2015.