Russia has deployed two Navy vessels to Syria, according to reports. The ships have been sent to reinforce the country’s naval base in Syria, as well as to protect Russian citizens and interests in the conflicted region. A Russian Navy official told the Interfax news service that the two vessels would be heading to the naval base at Tartus, a Syrian port, and would be carrying additional troops. Russia’s Defense Ministry has not commented on the troop movements, but the country has stood by Syria as violence has spiraled out of control in the country. Fourteen thousand people have died since a popular uprising began against iron-fisted dictator Bashar al-Assad’s rule began more than 15 months ago, according to opposition groups.