According to Interfax news agency, Russia was sending in two of its warship to the Mediterranean East coast at a time when the threats of the western world attacking Syria against Assad’s regime. Although Russia denied the act to be a reaction against the repositioning of Western forces in the area, however a sudden beef up in Russian naval forces has been cited in the area which is defined as a routine rotation of the Russian forces in the Mediterranean.
Reuters sourcing a member of the general staff of the armed forces further reported that Russia being the most powerful and trusted ally of Syria is planning to position a Black Sea fleet’s missile cruiser and another Northern Fleet’s large anti submarine ship in the days to come. Russia terms these changes as a need amidst the “well known situation” in the eastern Mediterranean region followed by a suspected chemical weapon attack by the Syrian forces.
Moskva, Russia’s missile cruiser’s arrival time was not clear however currently positioned in the North Atlantic the ship is due to set sail after a few days. The president of Russia, Vladimir Putin contributed the act as a need to protect the interest of national security and claimed that it not aimed as threat to any nation. Russia already is a NATO navies ally and cooperates in acting against piracy along with regularly calls at the ports of the West.
However as Interfax calls the deployment of extra naval forces in the area as a need as per the rising tension in the area, RIA news agency reports it as according to a high naval official as being “ Not a new group (of fleets)….. but a planned rotation”. The Russian Defense ministry denied any comment on the matter however deployments by the Russian navy in the Mediterranean have been confusing at times due to secrecy even before.
USA has accused Syrian government forces to be behind the chemical weapons attack last week and announced that a military strike against Assad could be made soon.
Russia no doubt is Assad’s largest arms suppliers and has also shielded Syria from any further UN Security Council sanctions as it opposes all or any military intervention in the country. According to defense experts deployment of two warships could go as a warning sign to Assad of submarine cruise missile launches.
According to IHS Jane’s Navy International’s editor, Lee Willett, Russia will be involved following the gunboat diplomacy rather than revealing itself as attempting a deliberate military coalition strike. The presence of these ships itself give away a political impact which is in fact the primary intention of the act. Already Russia in June has deployed 16 warships along with three ship based helicopters in Mediterranean Sea which is the first naval permanent deployment of Russia after Soviet times.
On the other hand Iran has issued warnings to the US that if Syria is attacked the “Zionists will burn” in the words of Hassan Firouzabadi, the Iranian Chief of Staff. Other reports telecasted on the state television stated that in case US attacked Syria a three front attack will be faced by Israel from Syria, Iran and Hezbollah.
Strikes led by US initially are not expected to be very extensive to the extent of bringing down Assad however in case Israel is hit, the result is said to be the end of Assad’s regime. Amidst the building tension in the area, the situation tends to get more fragile everyday and wrong step from both the sides will be a giant leap towards the looming danger of World War III.