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Conflicting Reports On Mission Of Iranian Warships In Syria

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Two warships that Iran sent last week to the Mediterranean, arrived in the Syrian port of Tartus for a mission of “training” with the Syrian navy, reported Monday an Iranian TV channel. These two ships, the destroyer Naghdi and tanker Kharg , “should participate training with Syrian navy under the agreement [of military cooperation] ” between Tehran and Damascus, said the report. It gave no details on the nature of this “training” .

However, Egyptian security sources and members of the Syrian opposition are claiming that the two ships docked off the Syrian coast are equipped with “military communications jamming devices that are disrupting communications made by the Syrian opposition via satellite,” the London-based newspaper Asharq al-Awsat reported Monday.

This is the second time that Iranian warships enter the Mediterranean since the 1979 Islamic revolution. The first mission to Syria by Kharg and frigate Alvand , in February 2011, had aroused the concern of Israel, which had put its navy on alert, while Washington warned of the Iranian ships not to carry out any action that might harm security ” .

Israel said Saturday that he “would monitor the movement of the two ships to ensure they do not approach the Israeli coast ” .

This new mission in the Mediterranean aims to “strengthen the presence of Iran in international waters, which is its natural right, and is a sign of our maritime power,” said Monday the Iranian defense minister Ahmad Vahidi to the IRNA news agency.

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