Two Iranian Navy’s ships have docked in the Syrian port of Tartus to provide maritime training to Syria’s naval forces under an agreement signed between Tehran and Damascus a year ago.
The Iranian fleet, consisting of a destroyer and a supply ship, arrived at Tartus port, situated 220 kilometers (136 miles) northwest of the Syrian capital Damascus, on Friday a day after they received permission from the Egyptian armed forces to sail along the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean Sea on their way to the Syrian coast, Mehr News Agency reported on Saturday.
Iran’s Navy has increased its presence in international waters since last year, deploying vessels in the Indian Ocean and sending two ships to the Mediterranean Sea for the first time in February 2011 via the Suez Canal.
Meanwhile, the Iranian Navy — in line with international efforts against piracy – has been conducting anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden since November 2008 to safeguard maritime trade and in particular ships and oil tankers owned or leased by Iran.
Last May, International Maritime Organization (IMO) Secretary General Efthimios E. Mitropoulos described the anti-piracy efforts by Iran’s Navy as “effective.”