Greater Presence of Russian Warships in the Med amid Airstrikes against Syria

Two Russian Navy warships, an anti-submarine ship and a guided-missile cruiser, have been sent to the Mediterranean Sea amid announced airstrikes of the West against Syria, Reuters reported.

What is more, a third warship, the reconnaissance ship Priazovye is about to join its counterparts soon, as it was deployed to the area on Sunday “to gather current information of the escalating conflict”, Interfax informed, citing an unidentified military source as saying.

Russian Defense Ministry announced in June its intention to deploy a task force, comprising about 10 warships to the Mediterranean Sea.

The task force, featuring anti-submarine ships, landing ships, auxiliary vessels, patrol boats and cruisers, was supposed to focus primarily on keeping a close watch on the situation in the region.

In the context of the latest developments and deployment of Russian warships to the region, Russian Defense Ministry explained that the new warships are headed to the Mediterranean within the framework of a routine rotation of ships, according to Reuters.

Even though the plan to attack Syria had seemed imminent last week, the U.S. President Barack Obama decided to halt the “go ahead” decision and seek congressional authorisation for punitive military action against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, in the aftermath of horrific deaths of around 1,400 civilians caused by utilization of chemical weapons.

The congressional approval could further delay the attack for up to two weeks. What is more, Obama is aiming at stronger international support for the action which will most certainly be discussed during his trip to Russia, Assad’s biggest arms supplier that opposes military intervention in Syria. Namely, St. Petersburg, Russia, is hosting this week a G20 summit that will be attended by the most prominent world leaders.

The US’s key ally, the UK backed out from the attack.

Four warships, loaded with 90 missiles each, are currently in the Mediterranean Sea and waiting for Obama’s signal to launch missiles.

Naval Today Staff, September 2, 2013

 

 

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