January 21, 2013

Russia is sending two passenger planes to Beirut to fly home Russian citizens who have fled the conflict in Syria.

The emergency situations ministry said more than 100 people were expected to board the aircraft on Tuesday.

The foreign ministry has contingency plans for the large-scale evacuation of 30,000 Russian citizens in Syria.

It would be the first such airlift since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began in March 2011. Moscow has been a staunch ally.

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