A top Cuban military official was recently seen in Syria, raising fears that Havana is advising President Bashar al-Assad’s forces and possibly readying to operate tanks made in Russia to help in the battle against U.S.-backed rebel forces, according to news reports Wednesday.
Gen. Leopoldo Cintra Frias, head of Cuba’s Armed Forces, visited Damascus recently with a group of military officials, Jaime Suchlicki, executive director of the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies at the University of Miami, told FoxNews.com.
“It doesn’t surprise me,” Suchlicki said. He noted Russia’s history of providing military equipment to Cuba and its involvement in Soviet-led operations in Africa the 1970s.
“They have a very close relationship,” Suchlicki told Fox. “The Russians have been training the Cubans for years and supplying them with all sorts of military equipment.”