Moscow issued a confused statement Thursday, reflecting for the first time Russian uncertainty about the situation in Syria: “The escalating conflict in Syria and [doubts] about the entry of Russian ships into the port of Tartus forced us to search for safer ports [for docking], and one of them is Beirut. Tartus continues to be the only official [facility] for Russian ships [in the Mediterranean].” The statement went on to say: “Once events in Syria become more predictable, we will be able to [come to] a position on continuing the use of Tartus.”