The boats were spotted on the Bosphorus Sunday, while Vladimir Putin warned that the world would experience “chaos” if Syria was attacked again. It is believed that the ships are heading for the Russian naval base of Tartous, on the northern coast of Syria.
The images of the boats and their cargo were posted on Twitter by a naval observer based in the Bosphorus.
A Russian military source said the ships “kept a record at a close distance from US and NATO assault ships and submarines in the eastern Mediterranean Sea”.
The Russian president reacted furiously to the strikes in Syria, which followed the deadly chemical bombing in the city of Duma that killed dozens of people. According to a statement issued by the Kremlin, Putin told his Iranian counterpart that the strikes had undermined the chances of a political resolution of the conflict.
The statement said: “Vladimir Putin, in particular, stressed that if such actions committed in violation of the American Charter continue, it will inevitably lead to chaos in international relations.”
Russia has argued that the chemical attack by the Assad regime, which violates international laws against the use of chemical weapons, has been falsified or staged. The Assad government has denied any responsibility.