MOSCOW, June 24 (Reuters) - A ship carrying Russian helicopters to Syria, which turned back after its insurance was cut, was expected to sail back to Syria accompanied by at least one other vessel, Interfax reported on Sunday, citing a military source.
The ship, which entered the Russian port of Murmansk on Sunday to change its flag to the Russian Standard, will not be accompanied by military vessels, the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Russia, which said on Sunday it had "no doubt" there were attempts at regime change in Syria, is one of Assad's main arms suppliers and has shielded its long-standing ally President Bashar al-Assad from tougher U.N. sanctions.
Moscow says the shipment was unrelated to the conflict inside Syria, something U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dismissed on June 13 as "patently untrue".
Russia has said it is sending defensive weapons that can only be used to protect the country from outside aggression. The ship Alaed first set off from the Russian port of Baltiisk in the Baltic province of Kaliningrad on June 11. (Reporting By Thomas Grove; Editing by Andrew Heavens)