A group of several ships from Russia's Baltic Fleet is expected to arrive off the coast of Syria within days, a US defense official said. The four-ship group including two Steregushchiy-class corvettes departed Saturday from the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad. The 2,200-ton corvettes are said to capable of operating against enemy ships and submarines as well as providing support for amphibious landings. Some versions of the corvette are armed with Russia's Kalibir long-range cruise missiles. The Admiral Grigorovich, a guided missile frigate, was also headed toward Syrian waters.
The ships sailed on Friday shortly after the US missile attack on a Syrian airbase that was carried out in retaliation for the Syrian military's chemical attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun.