MOSCOW (August 3, 2012)--Three major Russian news agencies were reporting Friday that Russia is sending three warships carrying a total of about 360 marines to the Syrian port of Tartus.
The Friday reports, which quote an unnamed military official, could not be independently verified, and Russia's Navy refused to comment on them.
Russia has steadfastly supported Syria's government during its 17-month crackdown on an opposition movement.
The ships are reported to be in the Mediterranean Sea and were expected to arrive at the port within days to deliver food and supplies to a Russian naval base there.
The Russian official said the vessels would shortly return to a Russian port on the Black Sea, according to Interfax and the state-run RIA Novosti and Itar-TASS news agencies.
It wasn't clear if the marines would stay in Syria.