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Russia to hold major naval drills in Mediterranean

Russia’s Ministry of Defence 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, Reuters 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.

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