Two Iranian warships docked at the Syrian port of Tartus in what was described as a training mission, following a provocative journey through the Suez Canal at a time of global tension over the Islamic Republic's nuclear ambitions.
The vessels, a destroyer and a supply ship, docked in the Syrian port after passing through the canal Saturday. Tartus is home to Damascus-ally Russia's only Mediterranean naval base.
The mission was "to provide maritime training to naval forces of Syria under an agreement signed between Tehran and Damascus a year ago," Iranian English-language broadcaster Press TV reported Monday.
The passage through the Suez Canal was only the second made by Iranian ships since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
The move followed the passage of an Iranian frigate and supply ship on Feb. 22 last year. The ships successfully moved through the canal and then docked two days later at the Syrian port of Latakia, in a move Israel denounced as a "political provocation."