Officials said two Iranian warships crossed the Suez Canal and reached
Syria. They said the Navy vessels — a frigate and support ship — would
participate in an exercise with Syria.
"This is a very important achievement," an official said.
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The two Iranian Navy vessels, identified as Alvand and Khark —
arrived in the Syrian port of Latakia on Feb. 24. Latakia also contains the Russian
Navy, which has sought to expand the port for larger vessels.
Iranian Navy commander Adm. Habibollah Sayari arrived in Syria for the
greeting ceremony. Sayari said the Iranian warships were not meant to
threaten anybody in the region.
"They are a peaceful message to all nations," Sayari said.
Officials said the two Iranian warships contained weapons. They said
Khark, with a crew of 250, was designed to accommodate three helicopters.
Alvand, the frigate, was said to contain both anti-ship and air defense
The Iranian Navy mission was facilitated by Egypt. Officials said Egypt,
despite Israeli objection, allowed the two Iranian ships to cross the Suez
Canal on Feb. 22.