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May 16, 2013 9:57 pm

Russia Sends a Dozen Warships to Naval Base Near Syria

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Russian naval ships during an military exercise. Photo: Wikipedia.

Wall Street Journal – Russia has sent a dozen or more warships to patrol waters near its naval base in Syria, a buildup that U.S. and European officials see as a newly aggressive stance meant partly to warn the West and Israel not to intervene in Syria’s bloody civil war.

Russia’s expanded presence in the eastern Mediterranean, which began attracting U.S. officials’ notice three months ago, represents one of its largest sustained naval deployments since the Cold War. While Western officials say they don’t fear an impending conflict with Russia’s aged fleet, the presence adds a new source of potential danger for miscalculation in an increasingly combustible region.

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  • jerry hersch

    The Russian vessels off the Syrian coast include about half from Pacific Fleet transfers via the Suez Canal.
    The composition destroyer centered and including both oiler and tug seems to show a long term deployment as well as the groups ability to divide.Included are amphibious vessels capable of landing troops or in evacuating civiliians.
    The size indicates not only protection of port facilities in Syria but the possible intervention or deterrence of any assistance to Lebanon by sea.
    It could be possible to send a couple of vessels north Toward Iskenderun to stymie Turkey and and the remainder south toward Lebanon.