The deployment of another vessel by Moscow, a key ally of Damascus, comes as the US considers unleashing a military strike against president Bashar al-Assad's regime.
"The vessel will dock in Novorossiysk where it will take special cargo on board and head to the designated area of military service in the eastern Mediterranean," an unnamed naval source told Russia's Interfax news agency.
The nature of the cargo is still unclear. The vessel has capacity for 3,300 troops and 1,700 tonnes of cargo, including 20 tanks. It is protected by three guns and three missile launchers.
Ahead of the movement of the large vessel, two Russian ships passed the Bosporus Strait in Istanbul en route to the eastern stretch of the Mediterranean. Read more >>