The Russians are fleeing Syria
“Russia has suspended use of its naval base in Tartus, Syria. But it refuses to rule out using it in the future. In addition, the central principles of cooperation with Damascus in the military sphere have been set: Moscow will support the Assad regime primarily at the political level, intelligence and humanitarian spheres. There are no large weapons shipments planned” reported the Nezavisimaya Gazeta.
All 11 Russian ships from the Black Sea Fleet, Northern Fleet and the Baltic Fleet (including Alexander Otrakovsky, Georgy Pobedonosets and Kondopoga which are carrying marines) that were stationed near Tartus have left the Mediterranean sea and returned to their bases during the last couple of weeks.
It is estimated that the Russians drastically reduced their presence in anticipation of an imminent massive western intervention in Syria.