US official: Russia sends troops to Syria as peace hopes fadeQuicklink submitted by Kyle McDermott Permalink
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|Russia is sending armed troops to Syria amid escalating violence there, United States military officials told NBC News Friday, in a move certain to frustrate Western efforts to put pressure on the regime of President Bashir Assad. Moscow has sent a ship carrying a small contingent of combat forces to guard Russia's deep-water port and military base at the Syrian city of Tartus, the US officials said. The U.S. officials also said Russia has not sent additional attack helicopters to the Syrian government, but replacement parts for the Russian helicopters the Syrians are already flying... Tartus is one of Russia's most strategically-important assets, giving it military access to the Mediterranean Sea. Russia and China, both permanent members of the U.N. Security Council with veto power, frustrated attempts by key Western figures... [A]ny broad international talks on Syria must include Iran.|
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