Russia is sending an anti-submarine ship and a missile cruiser to the Mediterranean as Western powers prepare for possible strikes against Syria.

The news comes as Britain deployed six RAF Typhoon jets to its Akrotiri base in Cyprus in a move to protect British interests as tensions grow over Syria.

Russia, who has stood staunchly behind the Syrian regime during its two-year civil war, has warned Western powers over strikes against Bashar al-Assad’s forces for the use of chemical weapons.

Russia’s Interfax news agency quoted a source in the armed forces’ general staff as saying the warships would arrive in the coming days because of the “well-known situation” – a clear reference to the conflict in Syria.

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