A fighter from the Sadik unit of Free Syrian Army's Tahrir
al Sham brigade aims his rifle in Mleha suburb of Damascus,
Syria. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic
Russia is sending two planes to Beirut on Tuesday to
evacuate more than 100 of its citizens from Syria, Russian
agencies quoted the Emergencies Ministry as saying.
"On orders from the leadership of the Russian Federation, the
Emergencies Ministry is sending two airplanes to Beirut so
that all Russians who want can leave Syria," ministry
spokeswoman Irina Rossius told Interfax.
"It is planned that more that 100 Russians will leave Syria
(on these planes)," she said.
Russia has been Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's main
foreign protector during a 22-month uprising against his rule
and is its biggest arms supplier.
A number of citizens from Russian companies that have a
presence in Syria still live there.
Moscow is carrying out what it has called the largest naval
exercise in years off the coast of Syria. Russian agencies
have previously cited military sources as saying those ships
could be used in evacuation efforts.