WASHINGTON, Feb 21 (Reuters) - The Pentagon said on Tuesday it had no indication that Iranian ships had docked in Syria over the weekend, contrary to an account by Iran’s state-run media.
Iran’s Press TV reported that two Iranian warships docked at the Syrian port of Tartous on Saturday. The ships were said to be providing training for Syrian naval forces.
“We have absolutely no indication whatsoever the Iranian ships ever docked in Syrian ports,” said Pentagon spokesman George Little, adding that the United States believed the ships in fact “did not dock in Syria.”
With Shi‘te-led Iran already at odds with the United States, Europe and Israel over its nuclear program, the deployment of the warships could have fanned concerns that the Syria crisis could boil over into a regional conflict if it not resolved soon.
Instead, Little said there appeared to be nothing “particularly noteworthy” about the latest deployment of the warships.
“It seems this was a relatively routine transit through the (Suez) Canal and now, apparently, back,” he said. (Reporting By Phil Stewart; Editing by Vicki Allen)