“A Russian navy attack group started tactical drills in the east of the Mediterranean Sea,” the ministry said in a statement.


Russia Starts Navy Drills in Eastern Mediterranean in Support of Syria


“During the drills the ability of the navy’s forces to deal with resolving crises of a terrorist nature will be tested,” it said.


Russia has previously beefed up its naval forces in the area to support its bombing campaign in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.


Two of Russia’s newest Buyan-class corvettes will take part in the exercises along with vessels already stationed permanently in the area, the ministry said.


It said the gunboats are equipped with the latest long-range missile system which was used to bombard Islamic State (ISIS / Daesh / ISIL / IS) targets in Syria last year.


The exercises are the latest in a series of maneuvers conducted by Moscow’s forces since relations with the West fell to their lowest point since the Cold War over the conflict in Ukraine, AFP reported.