2012-06-19 — An Arabic language website claims that China, Russia and Iran are going to carry out a large-scale military maneuver in Syria, “the biggest of its kind in the Middle-East history,” the semiofficial Fars-news agency reported Monday.
The joint exercise will be at sea, air and land on Syrian soil, the website Al-Shakhoura is quoted by Fars. It added that 90 000 military personnel, 400 air planes and 900 tanks will take part in the drill.
The Russian news agency Interfax quoting a Russian naval official says that two Russian naval vessels with marines on board were ready to head for Syria to protect Russian citizens and a naval base there, in what would be the first known reinforcement of Moscow’s military presence since the start of an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.
The website also claims that also China has asked the Suez-canal authorities for passage of 12 naval ships in late June heading towards Tartus in Syria. The report did not disclose whether Iran would also send military personnel or war ships to the drill.