Russian warships sail down British coast en route to Syria

A Royal Navy lookout | 20 de octubre de 2016

London (CNN)A fleet of Russian warships and fighter jets, including the flagship aircraft carrier the Admiral Kuznetsov, has reached the North Sea and is headed for the English Channel, the UK's Ministry of Defence told CNN in a statement. The flotilla is now southwest of Norway and is believed to be on its way to the Mediterranean and eventually to Syria.he Royal Navy says it is closely monitoring the Russian vessels, which left Russia October 15. In a statement issued at that time, the Russian navy said the voyage was "to ensure naval presence in the important areas of the World Ocean. Special focus will be made on safeguarding security of maritime traffic and other types of Russian maritime economic activity and also responding to new kinds of modern threats such as piracy and international terrorism."The fleet also includes a nuclear-powered battle cruiser, Pyotr Velikiy, and two Udaloy Class Destroyers. The Admiral Kuznetsov is capable of carrying 50 war planes. "When these ships near our waters we will man-mark them every step of the way," a Ministry of Defence spokesman said Wednesday. "We will be watching as part of our steadfast commitment to keep Britain safe." The destroyer HMS Duncan has also been dispatched to monitor the Kuznetsov task group. Another British vessel, HMS Richmond, also escorted the group as it sailed down the Norwegian Sea between Iceland and Norway. A third Royal Navy vessel, the air defense destroyer HMS Dragon, is due to sail from the British port of Portsmouth Friday to meet two Russian corvettes traveling north toward the UK from the direction of Portugal. Shadowing ships is a regular task for the Royal Navy, which has been supported by Royal Air Force surveillance aircraft in this mission. The Russian fleet is believed to be sailing to the Syrian port of Tartus. Russia's defense ministry said on October 10 that the country was poised to transform its naval facility there into a permanent base.
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