Middle East

Russia evacuates citizens from Syria

A handout picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on August 27, 2011, allegedly shows people gathering near a Russian aircraft loaded with humanitarian aid, food and medical supplies after its arrival at Latakia airport in Syria. AFP PHOTO SANA

MOSCOW:Russia has evacuated dozens of its citizens from Syria as the country's foreign minister warns that a military intervention by the U.S. and its allies would destabilize the region.

The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry says it evacuated 89 people, 75 of them Russians, from Syria on Tuesday, with more expected Wednesday.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in a statement Wednesday that armed intervention being considered by the U.S. and its allies "will lead to the long-term destabilization of the situation in the country and the region."

News agency ITAR-TASS reported that the Russian Embassy in Syria insisted that there was no plan to evacuate diplomats.

Tens of thousands of Russian citizens live in Syria, the legacy of years of cooperation and exchange between the two countries.





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