Russia sends warships for possible Syria evacuation - agency

MOSCOW, Dec 18 (Reuters) - Russia has sent warships to the

Mediterranean Sea in case it has to evacuate Russian citizens

from Syria, Interfax news agency quoted an unnamed naval source

as saying on Tuesday.

A group of two assault ships, a tanker and an escort vessel

left a Baltic port on Monday, the source said.

"They are heading to the Syrian coast to assist in a

possible evacuation of Russian citizens ... Preparations for the

deployment were carried out in a hurry and were heavily

classified," the source was quoted as saying.

The report could not immediately be confirmed independently.

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