Russia to hold major naval drills in Mediterranean, TASS agency reports


Russia’s Ministry of Defense said on Thursday it would hold naval exercises in the Mediterranean Sea from Sept. 1 to Sept. 8 and that 25 vessels and 30 planes would take part, the TASS news agency reported.

The ministry said the drills would involve carrying out anti-aircraft, anti-submarine and anti-mining exercises.

The drills come amid tensions between Russia and the West over Syria’s northern rebel-held region of Idlib. A source said on Wednesday that Russia’s ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, was preparing a phased offensive there.