A Russian newspaper has reported that Russia has pulled out all of its military personnel from its naval base in Syria.

The base at Tartus is a minor facility, used mainly to service Russian navy ships in the Mediterranean, but it is Russia's only naval outpost outside the former Soviet Union. The number of personnel stationed there is unknown.

Vedomosti, a respected business newspaper, reported the evacuation on Wednesday, citing an interview with Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov published in the Al Hayat newspaper and its own unnamed source in the Defense Ministry.

The Defense Ministry has not commented, and the report could not be independently confirmed.

The newspaper said the decision was made because of the risks posed to Russian military personnel by the civil war in Syria.