(Times of Israel) In a move considered aggressive by US and European officials, Russia has sent at least 12 warships to patrol waters near its naval base in Tartous, Syria.

The deployment appears to be a warning to Israeli and Western officials against military intervention in Syria’s bloody civil war, which has now claimed the lives of over 80,000 people.

Russia’s increased presence in the region — which began raising eyebrows in the US three months ago — represents one of its largest sustained naval deployments since the Cold War, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

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