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Russian Landing Ship Arrives in Syria

Russia's assault landing ship Nikolai Filchenkov, scheduled to visit the Syrian port of Latakia, has been met by two Syrian missile boats on the border of the country's territorial waters, a Syrian Defense Ministry spokesman told RIA Novosti.

The boats were sent to greet the Russian vessel in a welcome ceremony in line with naval traditions, the spokesman said.

Earlier, RIA Novosti sources in Syria's navy said the Nikolai Filchenkov would call at Latakia on a one-day friendly visit. Russian and Syrian sailors were to hold a soccer friendly at a local stadium.

Russia remains one of the world's most influential supporters of President Bashar Assad's regime in Syria, where over two years of fighting between government and opposition forces has claimed the lives of more than 100,000 people, according to UN data.

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