Sept. 12 - Another Russian destroyer heads towards the Syrian coast as Moscow, a key ally of Damascus, rotates its navy vessels in the Mediterranean for what it calls a security guarantee. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: The Russian destroyer "Smetlivyi" left its home among the Black Sea Fleet in the Ukrainian harbour Sevastopol on Thursday and is headed towards the Syrian coast. It is the latest in a series of war ships that Moscow has sent to the region as Russia rotates its navy vessels in the Mediterranean. Russia, an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, says its vessels in the eastern Mediterranean guarantee security as the United States considers launching military strikes to punish Damascus for its alleged use of chemical weapons. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry flew into Geneva on Thursday to hear Russia's plans to disarm Syria of its chemical weapons and avert U.S.-led military strikes, an initiative that has transformed diplomacy in the two-and-a-half-year-old civil war. The eleventh-hour Russian initiative interrupted a Western march to war, persuading President Barack Obama to put on hold a plan for military strikes to punish Assad for a poison gas attack that killed hundreds of civilians on August 21.